Cash availability at ATMs across the country has deteriorated again following a brief improvement in January even five months after demonetisation, shows a survey. The ATM outage level, which had improved in January and February, is showing deterioration in April.
In a survey conducted by citizen engagement platform LocalCircles, 43 per cent citizens said they could not find cash in ATMs on April 13-16. This number has worsened from the 36 per cent who had faced problems in finding a cash dispensing ATM on April 5-8.
Over 8,700 citizens from across India participated in this poll sharing ATM experiences in their areas. The survey further said RBI’s move to lift withdrawal limits on March 13 could be a reason as people have been withdrawing cash in bulk from counters and banks have been forced to maintain high liquidity. This has led to maintenance of ATMs and frequent cash replenishment taking a back seat.
Moreover, people have been withdrawing large amounts from ATMs as some banks levy a transaction fee after four such withdrawals. Some field checks with bank officials also indicated slower cash supply from the printing press to currency chests and onwards to banks.
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Meanwhile, a citizen pulse check conducted by LocalCircles noted that out of 11 cities across India, Hyderabad was worst hit with ATM outages, followed by Pune.
Around 83 per cent in Hyderabad and 69 per cent in Pune said they were unable to find cash-dispensing ATMs on April 5 -8.
Delhi recorded the highest availability of cash- dispensing ATMs, with only 11 per cent unable to find money in ATMs during the mentioned days, it added.