Now, small notes shortage creates new crisis
- Traders, people in a piquant situation
Hyderabad: After ‘big notes’ it’s the turn of ‘small notes’ to pose problems for the people. Following the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes by Union Government to check corruption and unearth black money, people have been facing innumerable hardships in exchanging old notes with new ones. Since November 8 when the high denomination currency was scrapped, men and women have been making a beeline to banks to exchange the old notes. However, various hiccups in the implementation of the ‘Modi Plan’ have cropped up, throwing the normal life of common people, especially the poor and the middle class, out of gear.
Though in the beginning there was a cap of Rs 4000 for withdrawal or exchange and Rs 2000 for withdrawals from ATMs, people who thronged the banks and ATMs were forced to spend hours standing in serpentine queues to get Rs 4000 for purchasing essential commodities and meet other day-to-day needs. As the ATMs were not calibrated for the 2000 rupee notes due to its size and the RBI could not release the new 500 rupee notes, woes of people have worsened.
Since they could not withdraw money from ATMs, coupled with cash crunch in banks, people had to spend long hours at the banks to get the required cash for their day-to-day needs. Monday remained cashless for most of the people as it was declared a bank holiday in honour of Guru Nanak (547th birth anniversary). The holiday forced scores of people in Telangana, especially the poor and working class, including the daily wage earners, to go empty-pocketed. In fact, many rushed to the ATMs of various banks expecting that the recalibrated machines would function but were utterly disappointed on seeing shutters of ATM cabins down.
Though banks worked in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh State, there was no respite for the people as ATMs had failed to dispense notes because they ran out of cash and not replenished immediately.
Meanwhile, the Congress party in its bid to fish in troubled waters launched protests, dharnas and rallies against the Modi government for launching the demonetization scheme. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who is also not very happy with the central government’s move advised the YSR Congress MPs to take up the issue in the ensuing Parliament session in a big way.
However, while the banks were trying to ease the situation by ensuring adequate supply of cash, the people are now faced with a new problem of not having the required small notes or change the big notes as none is prepared to part with small denomination currency. The problem is caused mainly because of the banks giving new Rs 2000 notes and in some cases new Rs 500 notes. In the market, small denomination notes have almost disappeared as people and traders are not willing to give small denomination notes. So, the people and the market are in a piquant situation: If people have new notes, they can’t change; those who don’t have money can’t lay their hands on new notes without spending considerable time at banks!
While purchasing essential commodities or vegetables and other daily needs, the people are now handicapped due to shortage of smaller denomination currency. Shop keepers are insisting on smaller notes and the people are unable to get the required change. The banks are also expressing inability to provide smaller denomination notes to those who are withdrawing or exchanging old notes with new ones.