Demonetisation: Banks may allow cash withdrawal for marriage from next week - Firstpost
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Demonetisation: Banks may allow cash withdrawal for marriage from next week

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New Delhi: Banks may allow withdrawal of Rs 2.5 lakh by the families with upcoming weddings from next week only after receiving operational guidelines from the RBI, even though the Centre announced the relaxation earlier this week.

"In absence of operational guidelines from RBI, we are unable to give Rs 2.5 lakh for marriage purpose to each of the family (of bride and groom). We are awaiting direction from RBI," Punjab National Bank Managing Director Usha Ananthasubramanian said.

"We expect the norms by Monday and hopefully by Tuesday, branches should start disbursing for marriage. We understand that the amount can be drawn only by either parents or the person getting married. Only one of them will be permitted to draw this amount. The limit of Rs 2.5 lakh will apply separately to the girl's and the boy's family," she said.

Similarly, other banks are also not offering this facility in absence of directions from the RBI.

According to a senior Corporation Bank official, "Withdrawal for marriage purpose can be availed only after RBI's notification which will have clear direction about the various formalities needed to be furnished by the customers for withdrawal."

Earlier this week, the government had said it has been decided to permit families celebrating weddings to draw up to Rs 2.5 lakh in cash from their own bank accounts while encouraging families to incur wedding expenses through cheques or digital means.

Representational image. Getty images

Representational image. Getty images

Following the announcement, families where marriage ceremonies are due started making beeline before the branches only to return empty handed as bank officials turned them away saying there is no direction from their head office or RBI in this regard.

This being marriage season, people thronged the branches with all possible evidence for marriage and their identity proof to get much needed cash.

With regard to PNB ATMs, Ananthasubramanian said, 2,000 out of 9,000 cash vending machines have been recalibrated and they are dispensing money.

By next week, more ATMs would be recalibrated that will further ease the cash crunch.

Asked if the surge in low-cost deposits by banks would translate into lower interest rate, she said, the bank is reviewing the situation and probably there would be cut in fixed deposit rate as early as today.

The bank has got deposits of 47,000 crore since the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on 8 November surprised citizens by announcing demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.

"The Current Account and Savings Account (CASA) has surged. This gives an opportunity to revisit deposit rates. The lowering of deposit rates will have impact on the lending rate going forward," Ananthasubramanian said.

With regard to usage of micro-ATMs, she said, the bank is going to put up 2,000 more such machines across the country.

Currently, the bank has 8,000 micro-ATMs which is being used for exchange and withdrawal of notes.

In addition, the bank is also considering to use petrol pump which uses PNB POS machines for disbursement of cash.

"It is work in progress. About 201 petrol pumps have employed the bank's POS machines which should be disbursing cash in the next few days," she said.

Asked about shortage of 500 denomination notes, she said currency position is getting stepped up by RBI and in the next few week situation should ease a bit.

Admitting shortage of cash, she said the bank is doing every bit to ease pressure but this is a massive exercise
where initial inconvenience was expected.

The bank employees are working in two shifts so that hardship for customers gets minimised, she said, adding the bank has made additional arrangement by sending staff from administrative offices.

First Published On : Nov 19, 2016 18:42 IST

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