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No let-up in queues, glare on transactions

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Nov 15 - As people continued to stand in long queues at banks and outside the few ATMs which were open in the city, banks and other agencies have stepped up vigilance to monitor �dubious� transactions reported from many places.

There are reports of unscrupulous people organising groups of agents for standing in queues at banks to exchange large sums of money. There were also reports of people depositing huge sums in Jan Dhan accounts � the zero balance accounts opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana, and other accounts.

Sources said the queues have got longer because of �hired people� being deployed by unscrupulous elements to exchange their old notes. Employees at many banks have observed the same people coming multiple times during the day for exchanging notes.

�Multiple conversions by a section of unscrupulous people are one of the reasons for the cash crunch,� said a bank official. To prevent repeated conversions, the Centre today announced that those who exchange cash at bank branches would receive an indelible ink mark on their finger. Bankers felt that implementation of the measure can help prevent repeated conversions.

�Two persons, purportedly daily wage earners, came with Rs 2 lakh each for depositing in their accounts on Sunday. We inquired where they had got the cash from, but they insisted it was theirs. In any case, we deposited the money, but such suspected deposits will be probed,� said an official of a private bank in the city.

A senior SBI official said banks have been asked to ensure that all their CCTVs are functioning. Transactions are being closely monitored, he said, adding that all suspected transactions will be probed.

Meanwhile, there was no respite from the cash crunch as most ATMs remained shut in the city and banks, which opened after a day�s holiday, continued to witness long queues.

Many ATMs in the city were shut due to technical glitches. Some of them were refilled once and were functional for about an hour or two before they ran dry.

People complained even today that despite waiting in long queues they could not get cash in ATMs. The SBI is also operating five mobile cash vans since yesterday in Bhangagarh-Ganeshguri-RG Baruah Road-Dispur-Beltola area to give some relief to the people, but those too are witnessing long queues.

Markets remained dull for the seventh consecutive day today. �Customers do not have small notes. The wholesalers are also not accepting the high denomination notes, so we are not being able to replenish the stuff at the shop,� said a grocery owner.

Meanwhile, the SBI has announced that a special mobile cash point exclusively for pensioners will be operated in Guwahati from tomorrow. The SBI has opened two helpline numbers � 9435406192/ 8811060234 � for the benefit of pensioners.

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