Keep The Change
The decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes came as a surprise to the nation on the night of 8th November 2016. PM Narender Modi who was addressing the nation for the same also appeared surprised during announcement. Although he was not in his usual energy while delivering this speech his announcement energized the nation. I applauded it as a great decision which in a single stroke get rid the nation from counterfeit notes, black money and terrorist funding until the other side of it came in front of me.
Grocery stores, departmental stores, dairies, chemists and other such stores started shutting doors for people with Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. Chaos was also created in the ATM's where large number of people gathered to withdraw Rs 100 notes. The machines were empty with Rs 100 notes quickly. Delhi Metro is also accepting lower denomination notes troubling the travelers even those with cards are having problem since recharges for them is not available in Rs 500 or Rs 1000. Banks are closed on 9th which troubled many people who thought to withdraw some money for daily uses. Daily wage laborers, rickshaw pullers, small businesses like mine, vegetable vendors and even wholesale dealers who mainly have cash transactions, salaried people and housewives started feeling pain of this decision in the morning when everyone discontinued to accept them. Those holding debit cards,credit cards or electronic wallets are able to transact up to a limit.
The new currency notes were also displayed by RBI governor. They are much beautiful than the one discontinued but now we have Rs 2000 note instead of Rs 1000. Will it not in the future become the reason of hoarding black money? Why like USA and Europe we can use only note up to Rs 100? Moreover for the common people who find it difficult to get change for Rs 500, Rs 100 or Rs 1000 getting change for Rs 2000 would be a daunting task.
Government should have introduced the new notes before discontinuing the old ones or prior information should be given to the common people or Rs 100 notes should be in plenty in the market. According to RBI from total cash circulated in the country 85% notes are in denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 so the chaos created from their absence can be easily judged. I am sure long queues are waiting when the bank opens and new notes started coming out from them. News coming from all over the country is showing only confused people. The one without bank accounts are tenser to think how will they exchange few notes with them. It is still to see how much black money this move will unearth because I am sure those with millions and billions of such unaccounted notes must have the ways to regulate them also. Till anything new happens in this matter keep the change.