Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes has so far received mixed response from citizens across the country. While some hailed the decision, a few sections were not so happy. People in large numbers queuing up outside ATMs and banks since early morning to withdraw valid currency notes from vending machines and exchange demonetised bills has become a common sight. Banks’ infrastructure is unable to handle the huge rush resulting in long serpentine queue especially for exchange. Now, some local residents in Kerala chose to manifest their dissatisfaction in a ceremonious manner. Outside an ATM in Uruvachal in Kannur district in Kerala, a group of people gathered outside the ATM not for transactions. Instead of withdrawing money, they mourned the death of the ATM as it could not dispense any money. A wreath with yellow and pink flowers was placed outside the door. “Condolences to the ATM that left us before its time.” a note attached to the wreath said, according to a report.
ATMs will still take two more weeks before they start dispensing new high-value Rs 500 and 2000 notes. Currently, they are dispensing Rs 100 notes which make them go dry in few hours. With public anger rising across the country over limited cash availability, the government eased key restrictions, including raising daily withdrawal limit from bank counters and ATMs as well as hiking the amount of old and now defunct currency notes that can be exchanged. From now on, banks will use indelible ink to ensure that people only change old notes for new ones under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheme to fight “black money”, resorting to a tactic used to prevent multiple voting in elections.
The limit of old and now defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that can be exchanged for freshly minted Rs 2,000 and new Rs 500 notes was increased from Rs 4,000 to Rs 4,500 per day. The weekly limit of Rs 20,000 for withdrawal from bank counters has been increased to Rs 24,000. The maximum limit of Rs 10,000 per day on such withdrawals has been removed.