Rajat Sharma

How rumours fed by social media created a cash crunch crisis

aajkibaat_frame_53134 (002)On Wednesday, I spoke on the cash crunch crisis to experts connected with the banking system. From the information that I received from the Finance Ministry, it appears that cash ran out from ATMs in some cities, in several places ATMs failed to work, and this was spread as ‘cash crunch crisis’ on the social media.

The rumour mills worked fast, creating a scare in the minds of the people that cash maybe running out from banks. As rumours spread, more and more people started withdrawing from ATMs, and since the withdrawals were large and of a larger magnitude, the banks were unprepared and they could not fill up their ATMs with required speed. This led to problems for the common man.

On the whole, I find this to be a scare created by rumours circulating on social media. The government worked fast within 24 hours, banks were directed and ATMs were replenished with cash.

The situation now seems to be normal. It will however take a day or two for cash to reach ATMs located in remote areas. There is no need to be scared. It is standard practice for 75 to 80 per cent ATMs having cash at a given point of time, while other ATMs do run out of cash or face technical issues. Such a rate is prevalent in the US and other countries too. There is no cash crunch crisis as such. One has to remain alert and should stop trusting messages that circulate on social media, otherwise such difficulties may recur.

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