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No ATM refill in cities after 9 pm

ATM

New Delhi: No automated teller machine (ATM) will be refilled with cash after 9 pm in cities, 6 pm in rural areas and 4 pm in Naxal-hit areas, as the government today finalised a set of “model rules” under Private Security Agencies Regulation Act, 2005 to regulate operation of cash vans by agencies hired by banks and other financial institutions.

The government’s move came as a measure to check incidents of attack on cash carrying vans, particularly post-demonetization.

The deadline for putting money in the ATMs in rural areas would be 6 pm and 4 pm in Naxal-affected districts. Also, specially designed cash vans, fitted with CCTVs and GPS, and must not carry more than Rs 5 crore per trip.

Two armed guards and a driver in each van must be trained to “disengage with the situation and drive vehicle to safety” in case of an attack, a home ministry official said.

“As about 8,000 cash vans are currently doing the job of loading currency notes worth Rs 15,000 crore on a daily basis, several cases of attack and heist have been reported in recent times.

Keeping this in mind, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today held a high-level review meeting in which model rules for operating cash vans and ATMs have been finalised,” said a senior Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) official.

An additional Rs 5,000 crore is held up overnight by private security agencies in their private cash vaults on behalf of the banks.

The SoPs have been prepared after a spurt in attacks, hijacking and looting of cash vans which are seen as soft targets.

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