Banks in rural areas of Guntur feel the heat

Banks in the rural areas, which have run out of cash, have been bearing the brunt of public outrage. Most bank branches in the rural areas are in short supply of new currency notes and have been facing angry backlash from their customers, most of them farmers, pensioners, senior citizens, and beneficiaries of government welfare schemes.
An irate group of customers tried to assault the manager of Andhra Bank at Prathipadu even as he was pleading with them to show restraint. Srinivas Rao, the manager, later complained that his repeated pleas for infusion of cash fell on deaf ears. “During the first week of this month, I had to borrow Rs.2 lakh to give cash to some customers who are in dire need, but there has been no improvement even in the last week. Even on Tuesday, I managed to disburse Rs.11 lakh,” said the manager.

There were reports of people locking up an Andhra Bank branch at Ipuru mandal in Vinukonda constituency and staging a dharna on the Vinukonda-Karempudi Road. Meanwhile, the remarks of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu holding the banks responsible for the cash crunch sparked off angry reaction from the bankers. The Chaitanya Grameena Godavari Bank Staff Federation and Officers’ Association condemned the statement of the Chief Minister.

In a signed statement, president of the federation Ch. Srinivas and president of the officers’ association M.M. Gopi Krishna said that the remarks of the Chief Minister demoralised the bankers who had been toiling for the past three weeks to meet the public demand.
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“The CGDB has its customer base spread over 187 branches in the rural areas of the State. We have received deposits of Rs. 500 crore so far, but managed to disburse just Rs.50 crore. Most of our customers are farmers, members of women self-help groups, pensioners, and beneficiaries of direct benefit transfer schemes. We hold the RBI, the sponsor branch, and the district administration responsible for the cash crunch. Why should the government blame us?” questioned Mr. Srinivas and Mr. Gopi Krishna.

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