Millennium Post

Demonetisation: Trade takes backseat in Capital

There was a holiday-like situation in the markets as trade was badly hit on Wednesday. Businesses plunged to less than one third in both wholesale and retail sectors but the most hit were the street vendors and eateries which are hotspots for refreshments. 

“We could hardly manage 30 per cent of our normal sale today (Wednesday). The street-food sellers like us don’t have a facility for card payments so we are dependent on cash only,” said Rahul, a seller at a popular snack shop at ITO. Refreshment services and small retail shops around office areas in Bengali Market, Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh, and Laxmi Nagar witnessed a deserted look on Wednesday. Shri Ganesh Corner, a popular chhole bhature and Kachori shop in Laxmi Nagar where people are seen standing in long queues on normal days wore a deserted look. “Sale has dipped to less than one third. We had made less food today but even then more than two third materials is left,” said the seller who issues tokens but deals only in cash. Not only the sellers but buyers also had a tough time to buy eatables. “I have Rs 500 notes only in my purse and I can’t eat anything here. What’s my fault,” said Nisha, a marketing executive standing there. 

The famous Bengali Market in the heart of the city also witnessed similar problems. “Almost all the payments were with debit and credit cards only,” said treasurer at Bengali Sweet Shop in Bengali Market. He even showed his lockers which had few notes and coins. “In normal days it’s full of notes,” he added.  

The same situation was at Nathu’s Sweets. The workers in high-end restaurants were also sitting idle throughout the day. 

“The average sale is around Rs 25,000 and 20 home deliveries till lunch hours. Today (Wednesday), we did not get any home delivery orders and sale is less than Rs 10,000,” said an executive of Sagar Ratna in Preet Vihar. 

“You either pay with credit/debit cards or purchase petrol of Rs 500 as we don’t have exchange,” said a petrol pump official when the reporter went to an outlet in East Delhi. 

This was not a single case. All the bikers in the queue were either buying petrol of Rs 500 or paying with cards or with full cash. 

The car owners were, however, relatively a benefitted lot as they were happily getting their fuel tanks filled completely. There was less traffic on roads as people did not come out and traffic was less in the city. 
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