Banks To Work On Saturday, Sunday

  • People reeling under demonetization effect

New Delhi: People of the country had spent Wednesday getting to know how to get on without using big denomination currency notes and what to do with the cash they kept for a special purposes. They were shocked by the sudden decision of the NDA government to demonetize big currency notes. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that the banks across the country would function on coming Saturday and Sunday, the 12th and 13th. The hundred rupee notes and two thousand rupee notes have reached banks. The banks could have kept hundred rupee notes in large quantity to help the people in getting them by way of precaution. That was not done.

The main purpose for which the demonetization decision was taken was to eradicate black money, to stop funding of terror organizations and to cleanse the market of  fake currency. This is a sort of war against graft. It was promised by Narendra Modi in his election campaign 30 months ago. He promised to bring back the black money that was stashed in Swiss banks. He could not keep that promise. But to compensate that failure, he embarked on this campaign. The NDA government had brought a law to stop benami registration of lands. This move also is expected to reduce the graft in land purchases and registration. 

The Corporate hospitals did not function properly on Wednesday. The OPs at these hospitals did not entertain patients as the managements were not prepared to accept payment in Rs 500 or Rs 1000 notes.  After half day of hardship to the travelers on the State and national highways where the vehicles stopped for hours, the government had announced that the toll fee would not be collected for three days, till the evening of the 11th . ATMs did not work. There were long queue before banks till evening to deposit money. The payment process came to a standstill affecting the small businesses. Shopping malls did not accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The retail shops have not been giving the balance insisting that they don’t have hundred rupee notes. The shop owners are insisting that the customer should buy goods worth of Rs 500 or Rs 1,000.  The same policy is followed at the petrol bunks. One has to take petrol for which payment could be paid in big currency notes without demanding change.

People have been fleeced by the manipulative businessmen who are paying Rs 700 for a Rs 1,000 note. As the stock markets crashed at the prospect of a Trump win, the gold rates have gone up. A tula of gold sold at Rs 40,000. Families which have to perform marriages have been unable to make payments to cooks, halls, tent owners and others due to the demonetization problem. They have cash on hand to purchase clothes, gold and other material for wedding ceremonies.

The State governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are hoping that the revenue through VAT will go up by at least twenty percent. TS government is confident of mopping up Rs 12,000 crores. The district collectors and Superintends of Police were instructed to explain to the people the ways to transact big currency notes. They were asked to inform people that the cash with them can be deposited either in post office account or bank account. The managements of private engineering and medical colleges which had collected huge amounts of money at the time of admissions in the name of donations and building funds are at a loss to know how to account for the cash.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself said that the big denomination notes would become useless pieces of paper from the midnight of Tuesday-Wednesday. The people were confused with the sudden decision not knowing what to do with the unaccounted cash lying with them. Those who kept the money ready to perform marriages or to buy flats or lands are a worried lot. The big and medium builders have been selling the flats to software executives and other professionals who take bank loans to pay for the flats. But the land value is based on speculation and this sector is likely to be hit. People in know of things predict fall in land prices.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that the idea in the long run is to create a cash less society where all transactions are made through credit or debit cards. This will reduce scope for black money. It may help in curbing fake currency and funding of terror organizations. But in a country like India which has no more than 70 percent of literacy on an average, it takes a lot of time and effort to make people of all walks of life to open bank accounts or post office accounts and use credit and debit cards. Transactions without involving cash is a goal that can be achieved over a period of time. The demonetization was done in 1946 and 1978, but on both the occasions the expected results could not be achieved. Now NDA government has better network than the government in 1978 headed by Morarji Desai to implement the decision. As P Chidambaram, former Union Finance Minister, has rightly said, the results would depend on the efficacy with which the decision is implemented by the government agencies.  

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