In cashless market, traders have very few buyers
The traders and farmers in Azadpur Sabji Mandi are almost sitting idle as the business is down by 35-40 per cent and are keeping their fingers crossed for revival of the market at the earliest. Claiming acute shortage of funds due to the government’s ban on higher currency denominations, traders said that their business is at the stage of collapse. Traders of other mandis namely Okhla, Ghazipur and Keshopur, also echoed similar thoughts stating that a similar situation prevails as volume of trade has gone down over a week’s time.
Traders further added that their trade has gone down up to 40 per cent but they are awaiting a bigger loss. A few traders, in compulsion, have been accepting old notes but their number is going down day by day. “Traders, who have been in crisis, have no option left with them. On one side, they have not been making payments against arrival while on the other, no customer is willing to pay them lower denominations of currency against purchase of goods. The traders, who played middlemen, are in a limbo as both the concerned parties are unwilling to deal accordingly. Crisis will deepen more if situation does not improve,” said Pradeep Gupta, a potato trader.
“We suffered losses during early days up to 20-30 per cent as no takers were found for perishable goods. The traders, in absence of retailers, dumped their vegetables. The trend hit the vegetable market and as a result, lesser supply were seen in later days. Now, when the market is facing a severe cash crunch, supply has also gone down. People hit by the cash crunch now think twice before they spend their money. It is now not about their wants but people shop according to their needs,” said Amit Pandey, a tomato trader in Azadpur mandi.
“There was a point in time when people bought vegetables for the entire week but now they are buying vegetables for only their daily needs and this too after the prices of vegetables have soared. Vendors are themselves taking time off from work to visit banks to deposit and withdraw money. Many of them are even keeping their stalls shut as they feel they won’t get customers despite sitting there the entire day,” said Rajender Sharma, former Chairman of Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee, Azadpur (APMC). “This is for the first time since the announcement that I am buying vegetables. I got money after waiting in the line for three days. When I gave a Rs 2,000 note to the vendor, he shown unwillingness to give change. Due to lesser liquidity, I was forced to roam around at various kiosks for vegetables of nearly Rs 100,” said Sudhir, a customer at the mandi.