Law Kumar Mishra
Patna : “Aaj Pahli tarikh hai, Bhai Pahli Tarikh hai”, was a famous song of a film of early 60s. Kishore Kumar entertained the salaried people with his song. But on December 1 , 2016, it was a different song for the salaried class. It brought more tension than cheers. Salaried class was the worst affected on the 23rd day of demonetisation as employees could not withdraw their salaries deposited in their bank accounts by the employers on Thursday. Most of the 640 ATMs in the state capital displayed “out of service” or ” Sorry no cash” notices.
Long queue re-appeared at the local head office of the State Bank of India near Gandhi Maidan where main branch of the SBI is located. Early morning, some joggers at the Gandhi Maidan also went to the ATMs for cash. But, they were disappointed as there was no cash in the machine.
At southern Patna’s Ashok Nagar, there are five ATMs-Union Bank of India, Dena Bank, United Bank of India, Canara Bank and SBI. Shutters of three ATMs were down and those of SBI and Canara Bank displayed regret notices as there was no cash. Security guard of the bank at United Bank of India said he also failed in his early morning mission to draw money from the ATM.
The HDFC, Corporation and Punjab national bank ATMs in Doctors’ Colony also expressed their inability to oblige the customers mostly attendants of patients admitted to nearby hospitals and nursing homes. The accountants of these hospitals including Heart Hospital refused to entertain old currency notes .
At an ATM on Frazer Road, currency notes of all demonimations were being dispensed. A retired officer, who had gone to pay Rs 28,000 to a private hospital where his grand daughter was born two days back, said the doctor did not accept old Rs 500 currency notes. He had to arrange money from his relatives and friends to get his daughter-in-law and newly born grand- daughter discharged. Hospitals are not accepting cheques or drafts.
At ATMs in the three units of Bihar secretariat on Bailey Road and Harding Road, employees and officers were seen standing on the cash counters of the branches of the SBI to get Rs 10,000 from their salary accounts. None of the banks is allowing drawal of Rs 24,000 as announced by RBI as the ceiling is Rs 10,000. Some banks even cut down the ceiling to Rs 4,000. Against the assurrance of having separate queues for women and senior citizens, no such arrangement was made.
Legislators attending the winter session of Bihar legislature immediately after signing the attendance register sent their personal
security guards to the Assembly branch of SBI with withdrawal cheques as their branch too felt the cash pressure for the last couple of