CHRONICLE BUREAU IMPHAL, 11th Apr: State Bank of India (SBI) has sent a missive to the Chief Secretary of Manipur to prevail upon top management of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for sending substantial Cash Remittance to Imphal in a day or two as all banks in the state, with the exception of Ukhrul and Moreh branches, have been facing acute shortage of cash for the past one week.
In an official communiqué addressed to the chief secretary, SBI, Imphal assistant general manager informed that all Banks in Imphal are dependent on SBI, MG Avenue branch for cash requirements but at present cash deposits in many of the ATMs particularly in and around Imphal area have been exhausted.
If the cash remittance is not received immediately then the banks might have to down the shutters of ATMs for want of cash. Consequently, it will have larger impact on the general public and create serious inconveniences, the AGM explained.
The government of Manipur was further conveyed that even though RBI is contemplating to make diversion from United Bank of India, Moreh, which has surplus cash, to Imphal, the diversion process would be infeasible at the juncture or in the coming next few days as the Air Force chopper which was arranged by the RBI for transportation of the cash will only be available after April 21.
Further stating that absence of air transport facility is bound to deepen the problem of cash shortage in the state, the SBI official also pointed out even if there is possibility of bringing in cash into the state after some 11/12 days the said stock might last for only 3/4 days.
While pointing out that non-receipt of cash remittances from the RBI, Guwahati is the main reason for banks in Manipur, SBI in particular, heading towards a situation of complete ‘dry-cash’ anytime, the AGM urged the chief secretary for necessary measures to avoid further complication of the problem.
When contacted, some SBI, MG Avenue branch officials while explaining that SBI, Guwahati serves as the chest branch for SBI, MG Avenue and Secretariat office, informed that the Guwahati office usually despatches cash remittances soon after completion of processes relating to the financial year.
Conceding that they are not aware about reason for the cash remittance yet to reach Imphal in-spite of the financial year lapsing 11 days back, the officials conveyed that the situation is slightly better for SBI branches in suburban, rural and some hill districts as financial transaction are being sustained from the deposits made by the customers.
Further stating that another reason for the cash crunch is due to withdrawal of huge amounts from most of the bank branches ahead of the end of the financial year, they also revealed that the earlier practice of regularly replenishing bill stock in SBI ATMs had ceased for the past few days.
They also speculated that inability of the SBI, Guwahati office might be due to the RBI Central office not sending sufficient cash remittance.