New Delhi. As the falling rupee creates more and more headache for the government, UPA now wants to shut 24-hour ATMs in the country to arrest the slide of rupee against the Dollar. This is the second strong austerity measure proposed by the government after Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily proposed that petrol pumps should close down by 8 to save fuel.
Finance Minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram said, “ATMs in the country could be told to open at 8 am and shut down by 8 pm. This way we will save rupee the same way we are going to save fuel by closing down petrol stations at 8. Every penny saved is a penny earned. By helping people save money, I am increasing their earnings.”
When asked how can rupee taken out from an ATM inside India impact rupee’s value against the US Dollar, the Finance Minister said, “It’s simple. If a person is taking out rupee when it’s daytime in the US, he’s certainly doing it to buy dollars.”
“And even if he’s not buying dollars, we have to try out these things. We need to be innovative. We are going through difficult times. We need to discipline ourselves. People will have to tighten their belt and some austerity measures have to be taken without affecting economic activity,” the minister added.
Mr. Chidambaram also said that this will help keep people’s money safe as withdrawing cash at night in India is not safe at all. Mr. Chidambaram said, “You know the law and order situation in India. If someone robs you at night then what will you do? Why do you want to carry around cash at night anyway?”
The government is also going to launch a massive campaign urging people to avoid spending. The push will include mass media campaigns, street plays and hoardings at all ATMs.
When we asked won’t this ad campaign cost money, Mr. Chidambaram replied, “We always have provisions for ads no matter how bad is the state of economy. Did you miss the ads on 20th August or the current ‘Bharat Nirman’ campaign? Budget for ads is always there.”
As per sources, Rahul Gandhi is behind this ‘Out of the box’ thinking to arrest the slide of rupee.