Millennium Post

Farmers, daily wage workers get initial jolt in mandis, markets

The governments’ decision to ban Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes has hit farmers and daily wage workers for the time being. Given that the decision was announced in late night when farmers were already in mandis to offload their produce, they faced hard time in getting payment for their produce on Wednesday.

“There is no cash in the market. We are not able to pay farmer’s money as old notes have no legal validity. Also farmers are not taking their payments in cheque citing the reason that their money would get blocked in banks and they are in need of cash on urgent basis,” said Ramesh Chandra Lahoti, who heads who heads Grain Merchants’ Association of Bengaluru. Lahoti further added that it will take more than 60 days to get the situation normal.

Explaining about his reservation in accepting payment in cheque, Senthil Kumar, a Tamil Nadu-based farmer, said, “I have come here from Tamil Nadu to sell my produce and even if I take my payment in cheque I won’t be able to withdraw my all amount in one go. Also there is a function in family and in lack of cash, it would be very difficult for me to perform my responsibilities.” 

Kumar further added that there are other farmers like him who have decided to spend their rest of days at mandis and they can’t go back without their payments. 

Commenting on farmers’ plight, Kuber Seth, who looks after business affairs of Asbah basmati rice, said, “In my opinion there will no impact of ban on old notes on farmers. Yes, they would have some sort of problems for the time being, which would get resolved very soon. Even the ban will have no impact on export of rice as each and every transaction in this sector is legal.”

Supporting Gupta’s views, farmers’ leader Rakesh Tikait said that the decision is in the better interest of farmers. “At the initial days, such problems would come into notice, but once the flow of currency notes would become normal, everything will be fine.”
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