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Banks introduce indelible ink on fingers to check repeated money exchange

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Jamshedpur, Nov. 16: To stop repeat money exchangers thronging banks with invalid currency notes, a few city banks have started applying indelible ink mark on the right hand index finger of customers in the select metro cities. SBI and few other banks have started using indelible ink.

However, a majority of banks said they had not started using the ink as they had not received any instructions from the government.

As per the government statement, branches of SBI are using the method to weed out customers queuing up again and again to exchange invalid currency notes.

As per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for exchanging notes, concerned bank branches and post offices would put indelible ink mark on the right index finger of the customer so as to identify that he/she has exchanged the old currency notes once.

Following instructions from Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a handful of banks in city on Wednesday introduced the government step of putting indelible ink on fingers of people exchanging currencies at their counters.

Most of the banks had to arrange indelible inks from local sources to implement the directive of the Central government announced yesterday.

Chief manager State Bank of India, main branch at Bistupur, Kumud Jha said that as per directive from RBI and also from head-office the bank has arranged indelible inks available in local market in consultation with the district administration and is using at the banks. Those coming to exchange scrapped currencies are put the indelible ink on their fore finger, a practice which is followed during the elections.

Meanwhile, there is mixed response to applying of indelible inks.“ I welcome the move as the step is taking in view of the initiative to check black money.

Moreover, it is a welcome move by the government to stop long queues in front of banks to exchange old notes as several peoples turn up repeatedly at different branches of various banks to deposit their old notes and in the process stretching the queues.

The effect will be seen in the next few days with lesser queues,” said Anil Kumar, a resident of Jugsalai who was standing in a queue at Bank of India branch at Sakchi to exchange notes.

While some also questioned the reason behind the new step. “The step is again going to affect the common man. We are reeling under crisis and such directives will lead to another mess. There was no need for such a process,” said, a businessman in Bistupur.

A bank official informed that indelible ink can be applied by the cashier or any other official designated by the bank before the notes are given to the customer so that while the exchange of notes is taking place, a few seconds elapse which will allow the ink to dry up and prevent removal of ink.

Meanwhile, sources in the five banks having currency chest facility — Bank of Baroda ,State Bank of India, Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Central Bank of India—will have the new series of Rs 500 notes today.

“We will receive the information that we will have the new series of Rs 500 notes today, we cannot tell the exact time. However, it will take a longer time for such notes to be dispensed from ATMs as we are yet to have recalibrated cassettes for Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes at any of the banks” said an official of Bank of India.

Meanwhile, long queues were continued to be witnessed at all the over 300 banks for exchange of notes and also in front of few ATMs which had cash in it.

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