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Anger over cash crunch, SBI gets note of caution

GH SBI branches asked to maintain enough cash

TURA: A day after angry customers of SBI’s Kharkutta branch pelted stones when the bank ran out of cash, the North Garo Hills district administration on Wednesday issued a stern directive to the regional authorities of State Bank of India asking them to ensure that sufficient money is available in all its branches in the region.
Hundreds of people who had been waiting for hours on Tuesday were told by the SBI branch that there was no cash. Piqued by this, the customers, who had queued up after three days of bank holiday, started pelting stones. Police had to rush in to control the angry mob.
In the face of limited availability of the new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes, rural bank branches are being provided only a limited figure by the Reserve Bank of India even before Christmas. Sources in the SBI branch said it had only Rs 80 lakh.
A similar situation began to unfurl at the SBI branch in the district headquarters of Resubelpara on the same day as agitated customers began to raise their voices over the slow pace of work and the limited resources available. Here too, police had to intervene to bring the situation under control.
The district police have written a strong-worded letter to the SBI’s regional office in Tura asking it to ensure that sufficient funds are available since Christmas is the biggest festival in Garo Hills.
“We have asked them to increase their cash holdings in view of the Christmas season    and to avoid untoward incidents. We are prepared to provide the banks with all logistical support and security to ensure there is no disruption,” said a senior Meghalaya police officer in the wake of the Kharkutta and Resubelpara incidents.
Meanwhile in Tura, customers at SBI’s Chandmari branch complained about the absence of banking staff even after the day’s business had started. They complained that some employees were coming in late despite being aware of the situation. They are planning to write a letter to the higher authorities of SBI.

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