Demonetisation..Suggestions for improving ease of doing business

Demonetisation: Suggestions for improving ease of doing business

Prof N Natarajan

2000

It is a fact that there are long queues in front of banks and ATMs. Thousands of ATMs are still being configured to dispense new 2000 rupee notes. This job is in the domain of private parties. It is taking considerable time. Banks are doing a splendid job. Barring a few excited customers who are easily provoked by mindless opposition by political parties and those with an axe to grind, the general population has also shown admirable patience and understanding in this hour of difficulty. They appreciate that the demonetisation proposal had to be handled in extreme secrecy and hence advance preparation beyond what has been done was just not possible. Hopefully things will vastly improve in the coming weeks. However in the meanwhile here are a few suggestions for improving the ease of currency exchange and cash withdrawal:

1. Banks should make more counters operational.

2. Separate counters should be set up for deposit of cash, exchange of old notes for new and withdrawal of cash.

3. Every branch should have one exclusive counter for senior citizens.old

4. No photocopy of any identity card should be required for withdrawal of cash by a customer of the bank when submitting cheques. Any third party should be allowed to take cash upto Rs2000/- against cheques issued by the bank’s customer without being harassed to prove his identity. It is the responsibility of the customer whose cheque is being cashed.

5. There should be no need for a payee to submit both the original and a photocopy of his identity. Verification of the original and Xerox results is avoidable wastage of time at the counter. A self attested photocopy should suffice as pointed out by our PM himself.

6. Banks should deal sensitively with the tired waiting customers especially where there are serpentine queues. A good idea will be to have a volunteer to distribute drinking water on demand. At least water can and a glass should be placed in a conspicuous location. A few chairs to sit down temporarily will also help.

7. Indians tend to push and try to get ahead of their positions when standing in queues, creating unnecessary tension for themselves and others. Hence a system of issuing tokens, as is customary in most banks for daily transactions, and calling out numbers will remove this tension.

8. Some frustrated customers do lose their temper. Bank staff should keep their cool in those trying circumstances and not engage in a slanging or shouting match. It will only increase the ire of the waiting person.

9. Banks should temporarily engage retired staff to cope with the new temporary demand. Responsible citizens can also volunteer.

10. Government should appeal to all shops which accept debit cards to remove the self imposed lower monetary limit for acceptance of cards to increase cashless transactions. Govt can consider reimbursing transaction fee if any. Currently, many shops have a lower limit of Rs 250 per transaction.

Epilogue: One is reminded of an old joke in banking circles when automation was first introduced. The top management of a bank sent circulars to managers of all upcountry branches under the caption ‘Change Management’. The circular explained the revolutionary changes in the pipeline. It pointed out the new work environment in which a lot of manually performed back office work was going to be substituted by computers and how there would be a realignment of human resources. It sought to prepare the existing staff mentally for re-training to handle the new processes.

One overworked branch manager responded immediately after just reading the caption: “This branch has no change management problem. We have lined up a large inventory of change of all denominations. We can even assist other branches that are facing a deficiency in this regard.” His response would have been music to the ears of big bank bosses in the current scenario

Prof N Natarajan

It is a fact that there are long queues in front of banks and ATMs. Thousands of ATMs are still being configured to dispense new 2000 rupee notes. This job is in the domain of private parties. It is taking considerable time. Banks are doing a splendid job. Barring a few excited customers who are easily provoked by mindless opposition by political parties and those with an axe to grind, the general population has also shown admirable patience and understanding in this hour of difficulty. They appreciate that the demonetisation proposal had to be handled in extreme secrecy and hence advance preparation beyond what has been done was just not possible. Hopefully things will vastly improve in the coming weeks. However in the meanwhile here are a few suggestions for improving the ease of currency exchange and cash withdrawal:

1. Banks should make more counters operational.

2. Separate counters should be set up for deposit of cash, exchange of old notes for new and withdrawal of cash.

3. Every branch should have one exclusive counter for senior citizens.

4. No photocopy of any identity card should be required for withdrawal of cash by a customer of the bank when submitting cheques. Any third party should be allowed to take cash upto Rs2000/- against cheques issued by the bank’s customer without being harassed to prove his identity. It is the responsibility of the customer whose cheque is being cashed.

5. There should be no need for a payee to submit both the original and a photocopy of his identity. Verification of the original and Xerox results is avoidable wastage of time at the counter. A self attested photocopy should suffice as pointed out by our PM himself.

6. Banks should deal sensitively with the tired waiting customers especially where there are serpentine queues. A good idea will be to have a volunteer to distribute drinking water on demand. At least water can and a glass should be placed in a conspicuous location. A few chairs to sit down temporarily will also help.

7. Indians tend to push and try to get ahead of their positions when standing in queues, creating unnecessary tension for themselves and others. Hence a system of issuing tokens, as is customary in most banks for daily transactions, and calling out numbers will remove this tension.

8. Some frustrated customers do lose their temper. Bank staff should keep their cool in those trying circumstances and not engage in a slanging or shouting match. It will only increase the ire of the waiting person.

9. Banks should temporarily engage retired staff to cope with the new temporary demand. Responsible citizens can also volunteer.

10. Government should appeal to all shops which accept debit cards to remove the self imposed lower monetary limit for acceptance of cards to increase cashless transactions. Govt can consider reimbursing transaction fee if any. Currently, many shops have a lower limit of Rs 250 per transaction.

Epilogue: One is reminded of an old joke in banking circles when automation was first introduced. The top management of a bank sent circulars to managers of all upcountry branches under the caption ‘Change Management’. The circular explained the revolutionary changes in the pipeline. It pointed out the new work environment in which a lot of manually performed back office work was going to be substituted by computers and how there would be a realignment of human resources. It sought to prepare the existing staff mentally for re-training to handle the new processes.

One overworked branch manager responded immediately after just reading the caption: “This branch has no change management problem. We have lined up a large inventory of change of all denominations. We can even assist other branches that are facing a deficiency in this regard.” His response would have been music to the ears of big bank bosses in the current scenario

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About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest is acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays.
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