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Published On: Tue, Nov 15th, 2016

People slept in queues outside banks and ATMs

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overnight-queues-at-banks_650x400_71479183414NEW DELHI : People slept in queues outside banks and ATMs on Monday night, wrapped in jackets and quilts, desperate for cash nearly a week after the surprise ban on Rs. 500 and 1,000 notes in the government’s crackdown on black or undeclared money. But many said for the sake of ending corruption, they were ready to accept the difficulties

“It is difficult, but it won’t be for long. As long as it helps end corruption…” said a man standing in a snaking queue in Delhi. In another, more crowded part of the city, a young man said: “I have been here since 11 pm. I have no choice but to wait as long as it takes…it is my wedding tomorrow and I need cash.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told ruling party lawmakers that the country is with the government on demonetisation and there is no need to be defensive about the move in parliament, where the winter session starts on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, he urged citizens to give him more time to resolve the cash crunch that followed the withdrawal of high-value banknotes from circulation.

To ease the crunch, the government has increased the weekly cash withdrawal limit of Rs. 20,000 to 24,000.The government will also allow a network of banking correspondents or agents who travel to rural areas to provide people with access to banking services, to carry more cash.

The government has said the old notes can be used at government hospitals, petrol stations, toll booths and other essential services till November 24. Parking fees have been waived at the airport and highways will be toll free at least this week.

Since the sudden currency ban, thousands have flocked to ATMs and banks to swap or exchange the banned notes. They can be exchanged for new ones or deposited in a bank account until December 30.
PM Modi has said in public meetings that he had been “pained” by the hardships people are facing. “I am aware you are facing difficulties… I understand the inconvenience.

I am really pained by the inconvenience and that is why I am working tirelessly to help people overcome this situation,” he said at a rally in Uttar Pradesh. Opposition parties have attacked PM Modi for the currency recall with several parties teaming up to corner the government in parliament’s winter session, which begins on Wednesday.ndtv.

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