Cash Clean-Up Essential, Exceptions Will Lead To Gateway For Black Money: Arun Jaitley

Swarajya Staff

Nov 12, 2016, 05:13 PM | Updated 05:11 PM IST

Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, after meeting with heads of three banks including State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest bank, stated in a press conference that over Rs 2 lakh crore has been deposited in banks across the country, following demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

Jaitley also said that despite allegations by opposition parties that there was spike in bank deposits leading up to the demonetisation announcement, no such spike has been seen in any month, except September 2016.

"The largest banker in the country (SBI) saw deposits of Rs 47,868 crore till Saturday afternoon," Jaitley said. SBI's deposit is around 20 per cent of the total deposits in all the banks in the country.

"That month (September) the increase was because of money released on account of the Seventh Pay Commission payments," he added. Therefore, there is no substance in the allegations that information about demonetisation was leaked.

Jaitley also said that it will take two to three weeks to recalibrate the ATMs across the country for the new notes. "It will be a slow process," he said.

Here are the important highlights of his speech:

· The currency replacement around the country is being continuously monitored by the finance minister.

· There are some recommendations pending with the government on concessions to encourage cashless transactions, he said. Large wholesalers, he added, should not just rely on cash transactions and stated that any exception would lead to misuse.

· He stated that the government will ask Banking Affairs Secretary for instructions to banks on helping senior citizens in smooth exchange of notes.

· Today our energy is concentrated on smooth and quick replacement of money. Enforcement Directorate and other departments concerned are keeping a close watch on any illegal activities, Jaitley said.

· When govt decided to replace Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, there were expectations that in a couple of days, people would queue up to replace a significant part, 86 per cent. It is a massive operation, stated Jaitley.

· Jaitley said that the banks are taking time to recalibrate the ATMs as the new currency has a different size. Two lakh ATM machines could not be calibrated for dispensing new notes due to technology limitations, he added.

With inputs from IANS.

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