Bank holiday adds to cash crunch

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Noida: A bank holiday on account of Dr Ambedkar Mahaparinirvan Diwas (death anniversary) on Tuesday led to more disappointment among people in the queues outside ATMs in various sectors across the city. A reprieve for residents in the ATMs of SBI and ICICI Bank in sectors 1, 18 and 63 nullified by the cashless ATMs in the rest of the city.
Even the very few cash-yielding ATMs ran out of cash in the daytime. In the rest of the city, shutters were down with no one standing in queue to withdraw money as ATMs displayed the ‘no cash available’ sign outside.
According to Suresh Tiwari, Nithari branch manager of the district cooperative bank, ATMs were not being replenished for the past couple of days. “Private banks had very little cash on Friday after which bare minimum cash reached ATMs which have been mostly empty since Sunday. Things have worsened now, what with Tuesday being a holiday,” Tiwari said.
K K Jain, Sector 34 RWA president, said in these days of long queues and frayed tempers, the bank holiday was a blessing in disguise leading to peace near banks and ATMs in the local markets.
While both Union Bank and its ATM in Sector 6 was shut down, in sector 27 the ATM in D block market was not working said Rajiv Garg, RWA general secretary sector 27.
It was a double whammy for visitors to the Sector 18 market, which also had its weekly closing day on Tuesday. Some of the smaller banks and their ATMS are closed on the weekly holiday. S K Jain, district president UP Udyog Vyapar Mandal Gautam Budh Nagar and president market association of Sector 18, said, “The bank holiday coincided with the weekly holiday, making the situation grim and leaving residents with no cash.”
Meanwhile, the Noida Entrepreneurs Association (NEA) has tied up with RK Store in ‘A’ Block of Sector 55 and issued coupons of 500-rupee grocery coupons to workers of some companies. Under the arrangement, the workers use the coupons to buy grocery at the store and the grocer encashes the coupons from the NEA.
Sudhir Srivastava, NEA vice-president, said, “We debit salaries to our workers on the 7th of every month and since not all workers’ bank accounts are opened yet, we have resorted to giving part of their salaries in the form of these coupons after tying up with RK Store in Sector 55.”
Srivastava said the NEA has 125 coupons, out of which 63 were distributed on Tuesday. “More industries are opting for this mode of payment,” he said.