Cash curbs on current accounts, ATMs to go from 1 Feb

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has lifted all restrictions on daily cash withdrawals from ATMs and current accounts, but kept the Rs24,000 limit on cash withdrawals from savings bank accounts unchanged.

The move came nearly three months after the government withdrew Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes, triggering a nationwide cash crunch a panic rush for cash. This forced the central bank to announce restrictions on daily and weekly cash withdrawals by holders of current, cash credit accounts and overdraft accounts following the 8 November demonetisation of the Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes.

RBI is expected to remove restrictions on cash withdrawals from savings accounts in the ''near future,'' according to sources.

"On a review of the pace of remonitisation, it has been decided to partially restore status quo ante on limits placed on cash withdrawals," RBI said in a statement.

It added, "Accordingly, cash withdrawals from current accounts/cash credit accounts/overdraft accounts stand withdrawn with immediate effect."

However, the limits on savings bank accounts will continue for the present and are under consideration for withdrawal in the near future, the statement added.

Such cash limits placed on cash withdrawals from ATMs stand withdrawn from 1 February 2017. However, banks may, at their discretion, have their own operating limits as was the case before 8 November 2016, subject to the overall limit.

Further, the central bank has urged banks to encourage their constituents to sustain the movement towards digitisation of payments and switching over of payments from cash mode to non-cash mode, RBI stated.

Meanwhile, the central bank and the Election Commission are locked in a face-off over the relaxation of cash withdrawal limits for candidates fighting the upcoming assembly elections in five states. The poll panel wants the limits to go but the RBI has refused to oblige EC, RBI in tussle over hike of cash limit for candidates )