Day of chaos at city banks

Jittery customers make serpentine queues to exchange currency

Customers outside the State Bank of India Main Branch in the city on Thursday. (ST)
Customers outside the State Bank of India Main Branch in the city on Thursday. (ST)

SHILLONG: A day after the bank holiday, it was confusion at almost all financial institutions on Thursday as customers queued up for exchanging the obsolete currency denominations.
Hundreds of customers were making a beeline at the SBI Main branch on Thursday morning waiting for their turn to exchange Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The scene in other banks, like Bank of Baroda in Police Bazar, was similar. The queues in front of the Bara Bazar branch of SBI and Canara Bank in Lumdiengjri came on to the main road.
Those who wanted to exchange notes at SBI Main branch were asked to fill a form and produce their identity cards before they were issued the new denominations.
However, there were reports that some banks did not start the process of exchanging currency. Customers were asked to come back on Friday.
Those who reached the banks were given Rs 4000 as per the direction of the Government and that included the new Rs 2,000 note and few bundles of Rs 10 and Rs 20 as the denomination of Rs 50 and Rs 100 were not available.
People also had a harrowing time in local markets as most of the shops in Police Bazar and several petrol pumps refused to accept the scrapped denominations. Even medical stores denied customers citing shortage of Rs 100 notes.
Some shops accepted Rs 500 note only on the condition that customers buy goods worth Rs 300-400.
With ATMs remaining closed for the last two days, many people were seen asking for loan from friends for daily expenses.
Banks in the city, as elsewhere in the country, will remain open on Saturday and Sunday to cater to the rush.

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