The cash crunch turned pay day into ‘pain day’ for people in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Thursday with low or no cash in banks.
The first day of the new month began on a bitter note as most people returned disappointed even after standing in queues since early in the morning.
Employees of private firms including IT companies, pensioners, housewives, traders, students and daily wage earners all had the same complaint – low cash or no cash in banks.
On the 23rd day after the scrapping of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes, there was no relief for people. In fact, the salary day only added to their woes and increased the pressure on banks.
The queues turned longer as people lined up as early as at 6am at banks to draw the money to meet their financial commitments on the first day of the month.
It was disappointment for them as majority of the banks allowed customers to draw only Rs 4,000-6,000.
The situation was worse at ATMs, with almost all of them closed. A few which opened in Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati and other major towns soon went dry.
With the new Rs 500 note yet to reach the banks in the two states, people are facing severe hardships.
Whatever little amount they are able to draw is in new notes of Rs 2,000, which is of little help due to severe shortage of change in the market.
Those whose salaries were credited in their bank accounts by their employers were a frustrated lot as banks did not allow them to draw more than Rs 4,000-6,000 citing low cash received from head offices.
“With this meager amount how can I pay the rent, school fee of my children, the salary of maid and the bills of milk supplier and newspaper vendor and buy groceries?” asked Ishwar Rao, an employee in a logistics firm in Hyderabad.
Many customers say though the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) permits people to draw Rs 24,000 from his savings account every week, banks are not giving them this amount.
The problem faced by current account holders, who can draw up to Rs 50,000 a week, is no different.
“I gave a cheque of Rs 50,000 as I have to pay salaries to my employees but the bank people said it can’t give more than Rs 4,000,” said R. Ramakrishna, an entrepreneur in Vijayawada.
Some employers paid salaries of their employees in spiked notes and asked them to deposit in their bank accounts.
With Rs 9,000 in old Rs 500 notes in his hands, a teacher of a private school in Visakhapatnam was standing in a long queue outside the State Bank of India to deposit it in his account.
Banks in both the Telugu state found it difficult to cope with the salary day pressure.
The governments of both the Telugu states have asked banks pay Rs 10,000 in cash to each employee and pensioner.
The Telangana government has asked nationalized banks to open special counters for employees and pensioners to pay cash. It also directed them to work for extra hours to meet the demand.