Malegaon: Terming the decision by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to raise cash withdrawal limit from ATMs a mere eyewash and yet another attempt to fool the common man, businessmen and traders in this textile town urged the central bank to end cash shortage before announcing such decisions.
"The latest decision by RBI to raise the withdrawal limit from Rs 4,500 to Rs 10,000 is useless when the ATMs are dry and out of cash", Vishal Shah, a businessman said while talking to ummid.com.
The Reserve Bank of India had on Monday raised the daily ATM withdrawal limit to Rs 10,000 from the existing Rs 4,500. The limit on withdrawal from current accounts had also been enhanced from the current limit of Rs 50,000 per week to Rs 1 lakh per week The RBI however retained the weekly ceiling at Rs 24,000.
The RBI termed the move a "major relief" and hoped the decision will ease cash position of small traders.
The RBI decision however did not impress the businessmen and traders in Malegaon where all the ATMs in the city except 2 or 3 are out of cash.
"The RBI earlier raised the withdrawal limit from Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,500. Now it increased the limit to Rs 10,000. But, what's use of such decisions when we don't have functional ATMs in the city?" Vishal asked.
Vishal said the Maharashtra Bank ATM did not function for a day after the prime minister announced demonetisation on November 08. The ATM was seen operational only after 60 days of demonestisation, but only for few days.
"It was working for 2-3 days last week. Since Saturday, it is again out of service", he said.
Local Dena Bank branch at Tilak Road in Malegaon has ATM installed inside the bank premises. But it is never in operation.
"Long queue of people eager to withdraw cash can be seen outside Dena Bank Tilak Road branch even today. An operational ATM could have provided some relief to the people. But, we did not see it functioning in last two months", Altamash Mirza, a textile mill owner, said.
The traders also complained that citing cash shortage the banks are allowing cash withdrawals of only Rs 6,000 per day.
Ironically, a local trader went to a bank with marriage invitation card and other documents and requested withdrawal of Rs 2,50,000 as per the RBI order. But, the bank officials did not oblige.
"The bank staff plainly refused and did not allow me to withdraw the amount", Mushtaq Ahmed said.
Malegaon, which hosts more than 2,50,000 powerlooms heavily depends on cash to run routine business. Most of the textile units in the city however are running only for 3-4 days in a week, and some are even closed even since rupees 500 and 1000 old currency notes are banned.
"In Malegaon, we pay weekly wages to labourers working in powerloom units. For this purpose, a huge amount of cash is required every Friday. Due to cash crunch we are unable to pay wages and it is becoming very difficult for us to run business", Rafeeque Ansari, a weaver, said.