Harried jewellery shop owners seek Mamata’s help
Swarna Shilpa Bachao Committee wrote to the Chief Minister seeking her intervention as the Centre’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes led to a loss of 80 per cent of their business in the past nine days.
They have also raised the issue of “unnecessary harassment” caused by a section of officials of the Income Tax department.
Members of the association also approached the state Consumer Affairs minister Sadhan Pande. The minister said that the CM is the first person to raise her voice against the decision of the Centre and she is still fighting against the decision as she had realised the sufferings of common people due to the hasty decision without any prior planning.
Pande urged them to put white flag outside their shop so that I-T officials understand that the traders love peace and want to do their business in a transparent manner.
The traders on Thursday stated that they have incurred a huge loss due to the hasty and arbitrary decision of the Centre to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
At this time of the year, each and every person involved in the jewellery sector expect a good business as most marriages in Bengal take place in the months of December to February. But the decision of the Centre left a deep impact on the market and people didn’t know how to tackle the situation.
Moreover, the decision of showing pan card to buy jewellery worth more than Rs 2 lakh is also leaving an impact on their turnover. They claimed that shop owners do not have problem in noting down pan card numbers of a person, but there are many customers who do not carry their pan card while visiting their shops.
In such a situation they buy jewellery worth less than Rs 2 lakh.
I-T officials conducted raid in six to seven shops in Bowbazar after the demonetisation of the notes were announced. The traders on Thursday claimed that they are not against showing them (I-T officials) any document or they don’t want to do business without paying tax. But repeated raids by the officials leave a bad impact on the business of a shop.
Many shops remained close for a few days. If the situation continues to be same for the next few weeks, owners of some more shops will pull their shutters down. Meanwhile, hunting for cash kept people busy across the state on Thursday for the ninth day since the Centre pulled out Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes from circulation.
21-year-old Anirban Burman was standing in a queue with his friend, carrying an identity proof.
Even after spending over two hours, there were around 15 persons ahead of him.
“I am here from Assam to pursue my MA in Calcutta University. My family sends money and I use my debit card to access it. The card expired last week and I am unable to pay my bills. Neither am I able to withdraw any money as I do not have a chequebook. I am left with a few Rs 500 currency notes to exchange...I have to skip classes to come to the bank everyday for this,” Anirban said.
“I support the government’s policy, but the implementation seems a bit flawed...it could have been done in a more planned and better way,” he added.
Owner of a small saree shop at Shreeram Arcade Satish Mishra visited at least four banks since the
morning before finding a relatively shorter queue
outside the Branch of a nationalised bank at India Exchange Place in the central parts of the city.
“I could not open my shop today (Thursday). I had no other option but come to the bank myself. This is the third time that I had to keep my shop closed and visit a bank for money...It’s hurting my business,” he said, adding that the weekly withdrawal limit of Rs 24,000 was “too small” for businessmen.