Bankers, Industry Hail Demonetisation Move


Mumbai: Bankers and industry leaders on Tuesday welcomed the move to demonetise the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as “a bold and revolutionary” step, and affirmed their commitment to smoothen the transition.

“We will strive to restock ATMs at the earliest and make them operational. The Government has given enough exemptions to ensure urgent needs are met. We will work round the clock to ensure that customers have a smooth experience,” State Bank of India chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said.

She said the banking system has handled such demonetisation in the past as well and will do so again this time. Banks will be closed on Wednesday to withdraw existing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from counters and ATMs (automated teller machines).ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar said, “It’s perhaps the most significant move ever taken to curtail the parallel economy. It will give a sharp boost to all formal channels of payments which in turn will help the formal economy to grow at a faster clip in the long term.”

“It is a big reform which no one expected and will have a huge impact on people who are hoarding money and not disclosing money for tax purposes,” said Deepak Parekh, chairman of mortgage major HDFC.

He said the realty sector, which depends a lot on cash transactions, may be impacted and construction activity can also slow down, but underlined that it is a pain worth taking in the short term for long term gains.

Mahindra Group vice-chairman Anand Mahindra tweeted, “Success required an element of surprise and it’s incredible that this master stroke was kept confidential.”

In a lighter vein, he added, “Urgent message to anyone who robbed a bank tonight: You just got robbed…”

Sajjan Jindal of JSW Group termed the move as an “amazing and very brave step to curb black money”. He also complimented Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who made the announcement on demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes in a televised address to the nation, for the bold step.PTI