11 November 2016 07:09:35 IST

‘Weekend banking may fail unless fresh ₹100 notes reach branches’

There is little demand for ₹2,000 notes

Banks opening for business on Saturday and Sunday may not much help unless the fast depleting ₹100 and ₹50 notes are replenished to exchange for demonetised ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes.

By all indications, a number of branches in Kerala could run out of these small denomination notes by Friday afternoon, multiple sources in banks informed BusinessLine .

Some of the branches have already reported a shortage by Thursday evening. Unless the currency chest branches receive urgent replenishments, the situation could worsen on Friday.

The sources said that the ₹2,000 notes in the new series have been made available to almost all branches in adequate numbers.

But there is little demand for the high-denomination note. This is because transactions are impossible since it cannot be exchanged for smaller denomination notes that are in short supply.

The new ₹500 notes too have not reached currency chest branches until Thursday evening. It was yet to be confirmed if the regional offices of the RBI stocks. If this is the situation panning out in the urban areas, the confusion prevailing in the rural areas can only be imaginged, the sources said.

Given this, banks staying open for business on Saturday and Sunday may serve only those who want to deposit money into their accounts.

Earlier on Wednesday, the sources had pointed out that the new ₹500 notes would be ‘mainstreamed’ only after the old notes return to banks and are properly accounted for.

Each bank branch has been told to report to the RBI at close of business on each day from Thursday on the details of notes exchanged by it.

The banks were also required to re-configure ATMs and cash dispensing machines to disburse notes of ₹100 and ₹50 prior to reactivation of the machines on Friday.

They should await separate instructions on issuing the new notes through ATMs and cash dispensing machines though they could be issued over the counters from Wednesday.