The Indian government on Tuesday termed the cash crunch in parts of the country as "temporary" and said it is being "tackled quickly."
"Have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Overall there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the banks. The temporary shortage caused by sudden and unusual increase in some areas is being tackled quickly," Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted.
Junior Finance Minister S.P. Shukla also admitted that there is a "problem that some states have less currency and others have more", but assured it will be solved in three days. "Both the government and the Reserve Bank of India working to transfer currency from one state to other," he added.
The Finance Ministry's response came in the wake of reports of cash crunch in several Indian states due to non-availability of currency notes at automated teller machines (ATMs).
Cash crunch has been reported from the southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, northern states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, central state of Madhya Pradesh and even the Indian capital.
The cash crunch at ATMs brings back memories of November 2016 when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a sudden televised address to the nation, announced the scrapping of higher denomination currency notes, leading to severe cash crunch for at least the next few months.
The surprise move was part of a crackdown on corruption and illegal cash holdings. "Black money and corruption are the biggest obstacles in eradicating poverty," Modi said.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)