Alleging that demonetisation had left the rural economy in Tamil Nadu at a standstill, Cooperative Bank Employees Federation (CBEF) staged a demonstration in front of the RBI office here today, demanding withdrawal of the circular directing not to accept old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
CBEF General Secretary C Thamizharasu said agricultural cooperative societies, textile and fishermen associations with bank accounts in Central Cooperative Banks had been badly hit due to demonetisation.
“Due to the central bank’s move, the rural economy in Tamil Nadu has come to a standstill as even those who have bank accounts were not allowed to operate,” he said and demanded withdraw of the RBI circular, directing cooperative banks to stop accepting old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes so that they continue to do normal banking operations.
Meanwhile, the rush at banks to exchange currencies post demonetisation eased today, but the situation in ATMs did not improve as long queues were seen to withdraw valid currencies.
As banks were closed yesterday, people queued up since morning to withdraw old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
A bank official said that compared to last week, the number of people standing in queue had come down.
“Those customers who wanted to deposit cash had come to banks. Compared to last week, we can say the crowd has come down. But at ATMs queues were long,” the official said.
He also attributed the reason in less number of queues at banks to government’s decision to reduce the exchange limit of old defunct notes to Rs 2,000 from the earlier Rs 4,500.
Asked whether the new Rs 500 notes had arrived in Chennai from RBI, he said it was yet to reach the respective banks.
“I was told it has reached the RBI Chennai office. From there it is yet to reach the banks,” he said.
Banks had also taken steps to mark customers with ink who are exchanging old notes in order avoid repeat customers, he added.