Many shopkeepers and restaurant owners are reported to have fleeced the devotees.

Devotees in Tirumala suffer as government bans Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notesFile photo: PTI
news News Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 07:36

Pilgrims and devotees at Tirupati and Tirumala in Andhra reportedly suffered on Wednesday, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surprise announcement, demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.

According to a report in the Times of India, thousands of devotees were left stranded as ATMs stopped functioning and shopkeepers and restaurant owners stopped accepting the old notes.Many did not have money to go back home.

The report also stated that many charged a 'commission' of Rs 50 or Rs 100 to exchange a Rs 500 note, while adding that APSRTC buses. which refused the old notes initially, started accepting them later in the day.

"We have our own limitations. We cannot open special counters to exchange money. But we are accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for tickets and prasadam. This will continue till the deadline fixed by the Centre,” TTD chairman Chadalavada Krishnamurthy told TOI.

Meanwhile, reports added that the TTD was looking at the move positively as it could migrate to the electronic transfer of money wherever possible.

"We have requested our bankers to install more card-swiping machines at the accommodation counters. This will mitigate the woes of pilgrims and also help migration to the digital platform," TTD’s Additional Financial Advisor and Chief Accounts Officer O Balaji told The Hindu.

The government on Wednesday said that banks will remain open on the coming weekend.

"For public convenience, banks will remain open on coming Saturday and Sunday," Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said in a tweet. 

The government had already announced on Tuesday that while ATMs will be shut for two days, once they reopen on Friday, a person can withdraw up to Rs 2,000 per day through a single card till November 18.

Thereafter, the limit will be increased to Rs 4,000 per day.

"The Reserve Bank will closely monitor the fresh notes that will be issued. The cash withdrawal restrictions will ease once supplies of new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes improve," Lavasa added.

As per data available with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Rs 17,54,000 crore worth of currency is in circulation in India, out of which 45 per cent is accounted for by Rs 500 notes and 39 per cent by Rs 1,000 notes.

In other words, Rs 6,32,000 crore worth of currency stands demonetised.

 

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