Aug 21: The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a new directive that puts a curb on replenishment of ATMs across the country during night hours. The new Standard Operating Procedures when coming into effect will prevent the loading and transport of cash to ATMs completely after 9PM.
As per the directive, ATMs located within city limits will be replenished only until 9PM, while those in the rural areas won’t be replenished after 6 PM. Additional restrictions have also been put in ATMs located in areas like those hit with Naxal. In such areas, ATMs won’t be replenished with cash after 4 PM.
Private cash handling agencies have also been directed to collect money from the banks before noon, i.e. during the first half of the day. Notes collected will have to be transported only in armoured vehicles. Currently, there are over 8000 privately owned cash vans in the country that are operated by private agencies. On an average, these cash vans handle the transportation of over Rs15,000 crore daily.
Besides, it has also been mandated that these agencies provide private security for transportation of cash and its loading. Each cash van should have two armed security guards and two ATM officers or custodians in addition to one driver.
One among the two armed guards must also be seated in the front along with the driver, while the other guard should be in the rear position of the van while in transit. At least one armed guard should also remain present with the cash van all the time, even during tea or lunch breaks.
The vans used for transport should also be fitted with GPS tracking device. Additionally, no cash van should carry cash more than Rs 5 crore on a single trip.
The directives have been laid down on the backdrop of increasing fraudulent events over ATM and attacks over cash vans, cash vaults etc. The new Standard Operating Procedures will be effective from February 8, 2019.