State Govt awaits new Rs 500 notes to ease currency pangs

Review meet takes a slew of measures to address concerns

SHILLONG: With several metropolitan cities already receiving the new Rs 500 notes, the State government has decided to pursue with the Centre to release the same to Meghalaya to ease transaction pangs.
Chief Secretary KS Kropha said on Monday that the State government will approach the concerned Ministry to release the new Rs 500 notes.
“We hope that with the availability of Rs 500 denomination notes shortly, the situation will be eased,” he said.
An official source said the new Rs 500 currency notes are available in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
There were 37 lakh Rs 100 denomination notes with SBI Shillong main branch as on Sunday and of these, over 7 lakh was distributed till Monday evening, the source added.
Kropha said the State government is taking all steps to ensure that people do not face inconveniences during Christmas.
According to him, local traders have agreed to use swipe machines to ease customers’ problems.
Earlier on Monday, Kropha held a review meeting on the issue of availability of funds in banks and post offices.
The Post Master General has been advised to utilise the existing network of 68 sub-offices in the State to cover rural areas and State Bank of India has been asked to ensure that the Department of Post gets adequate fund for smooth functioning.
Kropha has advised banks to explore the possibility of mobile units for distribution and exchange of money and tie up with the deputy commissioners’ offices for transactions in rural areas, especially on weekdays. The banks will get adequate security for this.
The meeting also discussed the release of soiled notes for circulation which will be recalled after getting sufficient stock of smaller denomination notes.
Though the State has received adequate number of Rs 2,000 notes, it will urge the Centre to ensure that smaller denomination notes are made available.
The Reserve Bank of India, in a statement issued here, said printing of currency notes is at full capacity to tide over the crisis.
The RBI also wants customers to switch over to alternates modes of payment like pre-paid cards, Rupay/Credit/Debit cards, mobile and internet banking, among others.
The central bank urged Jan Dhan Yojana beneficiaries to use their cards. As the last date for exchanging currency is December 30, RBI requested customers to not rush.
Many banks in the city said the pressure on exchange counters has eased substantially and that “the situation should stabilise over the next few days”. Most of the ATMs will also be functional soon.

RELIEF FOR CUSTOMERS
l Post Master General to utilise the existing network of 68 sub-offices to cover rural areas. SBI to ensure sufficient fund flow to the Department of Post
l Banks may start mobile units for distribution and exchange of money during market days. They may tie up with DC offices in all districts for transactions in rural areas
l Government promises adequate security for mobile units
l Local traders agree to use swipe machines
l State to urge Centre to release currency of smaller denominations. Rs 500 notes will be available soon
l Soiled notes to be released for use, the same will be withdrawn after sufficient stock.