Bank unions across India are threatening to stage agitation, including strike, owing to the heavy work pressure faced by bank employees post the demonetization move. The unions say that there is no improvement in the supply of currency notes. They say that while the Government of India and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) say that there has been some improvement in the supply of currency notes in the system, the ground reality is different. C H Venkatachalam, general secretary of All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), told that if the problems for bank employees continue, the unions would be compelled to strike. According to C H Venkatachalam, the ATMs across India are running out of cash. This has forced many people to go in search of other ATMs and stand in long queues, making them frustrated and unruly. Customers often engage in quarrels with the banks’ staff and having to handle such irate customers is affecting the physical and mental health of bank employees. CH Venkatachalam added that the situation is becoming increasingly unbearable for bank employees and that they are on the verge of losing their patience due to sheer fatigue. Read more on Demonetization
The bank employees are unable to tell the customers when the supply of cash would return to normal. The banks across India are yet to get the new Rs. 500 currency notes and customers are reluctant to accept the new Rs. 2,000 notes as exchanging it for change is a big problem in most cities, towns and villages across India. Similarly, Rs. 100 notes are also in short supply. As a result, ATMs are non-functional and banks are finding it tough to deal with agitated customers, AIBEA told. Another problem is that RBI is supplying soiled and damaged Rs. 100 currency notes, which customers are unwilling to accept. For employees also, dealing with soiled notes is a big health hazard, AIBEA added.
The threatening by the AIBEA is fair. While the demonetization move was taken with all good intent to neutralize the money with terrorists and to retrieve black money, its implementation has been poor. The government should have made the RBI print enough Rs. 100 notes and supplied it to the banks before announcing the demonetization move. It should have compensated for the loss of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes, which account for 86% of the total currency in India by supplying enough, good – quality Rs. 100 notes to the banks. The new Rs. 500 note should have been checked for errors and defects before printing. The citizens are under the impression that ‘ache din’ (good days) will come shortly post the demonetization move. If the citizens and bankers of India continue to suffer like this, BJP might not win the 2019 elections. The RBI should be alarmed by this announcement by AIBEA and ensure that banks across India are supplied with adequate, good – quality Rs. 100 and the new Rs. 500 notes to ease the current cash crunch which the people and banks of India are facing. Read more on Startup News