Millennium Post

Post note ban, old coins & notes’ business in tatters

Delhi’s Khari Bawli market might be famous for dry fruits and spices but a side look at the pavements would bring into your notice men sitting with medium height tables with a red tablecloth over it. They aren’t selling any fruits or spices but have small and large old coins scattered all over. They deal in old coins and tattered notes. The demonetisation has affected them badly.

Mahesh Jain, who runs this small business for 30 years now says: “Our business has been ruined. People will buy necessary food items first and no one will spend on old coin collection. Its been hard to make ends meet now. We dealt in old money and coins but demonetisation has ruined our business.”

At a walking distance from Jain sits Manoj who too is in the same business for several years now. He has his own sorrows to tell. “Business is down by 70 per cent. This decision has been heavy on us. 

Earlier on a normal day, I used to make around Rs 500. Now, I hardly get Rs 100-200. At this age do you expect me to do some other business? That isn’t possible.”

They give you old coins for a nominal price of Rs 10 or 20 depending on the size of the coin and the year they were made in. Three of the customers who wished to change their tattered Rs 20 and 10 notes were turned away by these sellers.

When this reporter moved ahead, another man Naresh Jain narrated his ordeal. “We are not changing the tattered old notes, even Rs 10 and 20 notes are not changed now. There is uncertainty, what if the government decides to change these notes as well? So for now, we are too cautious. We have incurred heavy losses.”

As you take a turn from Khari Bawli towards Chandni Chowk, another old man with specs on the pavement will catch your attention. When asked how is the business going he said: “I come here these days to pass time. We are not accepting small tattered currency notes now. We are not having huge sum to invest. I have some other small things to sell and the old coins and notes’ business has flopped.”
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