#CashCrunch was a leading Twitter trend in India on Tuesday after a mysterious shortage of cash at ATMs was reported in multiple states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
Is anyone facing an issue with withdrawing cash from ATMs? Reports coming in that many ATMs across #India don't have cash. #cashcrunch @MirrorNow
— Avni Raja (@avniraja) April 17, 2018
Visited SBI branch to transfer ₹19.70 Lakh from another bank account and make a fixed deposit. Was given a VVIP treatment. Apparently, no one is depositing money lately... everyone is withdrawing. #CashCrunch is far worse today. A senior citizen couldn't even withdraw ₹2000 https://t.co/WEO4Nn7ZNu
— Anamika (@AnaMyID) April 17, 2018
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted that the temporary shortage was caused by a "sudden and unusual increase" in withdrawals in some areas and promised that it would be resolved soon. During a press conference reported on by news agency Indo-Asian News Service, the Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said the government has decided to increase the production of Rs. 500 notes by five times in response to the "unusually high demand" and asked people to not panic and hoard cash. (See also: Who decides when to print money in India?)
Have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Over all 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.
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) April 17, 2018
State Bank of India Chair Rajnish Kumar Sinha told news agency Asian News International (ANI) that this is a "temporary situation" mainly due to "geographical factors," and Union Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla explained to ANI that "some states have less currency & others have more." He said the government and India's central bank are working on transferring currency between states, which will be completed in three days.
Members of rival political parties seized the opportunity to remind the public of the last time Indians had difficulty getting their hands on currency notes. The demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes announced by the current administration in November 2016 led to chronic shortages of cash and a surge in digital cash payments. The Indian banking system is also under scrutiny after a $1.8 billion banking heist this year exposed security flaws. (See also: Punjab National Bank $1.8B Fraud Raises Questions About SWIFT Security)