Amidst the unending problems caused due to demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, a rumour circulated that Rs 10 coins will be of no use anymore which led to harassment of common people in and around the city.
A panic that a huge number of fake Rs 10 coins with the denomination written right in the middle of the silver part of the coin and 15 small-line markings on the golden part have been circulating in the state’s market also restricted people from accepting it.
Suddenly Rs 10 coins, which a large section of people prefer to drop in piggy banks became easily available in the market on Wednesday morning and it had even led to heated altercations.
Everyone starting from shopkeepers to people visiting their local markets on Wednesday morning had left no stone unturned to clear their stock of Rs 10 coins and it was outcome of just a rumour that had somehow spread on Wednesday morning.
Besides the discussion on Modi government’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, phasing out of Rs 10 coins also came up as a matter to be debated at tea stalls in the city and its adjacent areas on Wednesday morning.
Two aspects had driven people to take Rs 10 coins out of their piggy banks on Thursday morning. First of all, lack of change as Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will be of no use when they will go to the market on Wednesday morning. Secondly, the panic due to the rumour that the coins will be of no use anymore has made people take the coins out of their piggy banks.
Interestingly, the coins were of not much use for a few hours on Wednesday, at least till when the effect of the rumour lasted as neither shopkeepers nor common people were ready to take Rs 10 coins on Wednesday morning.
Manoj Hazra, a resident of Salkia in Howrah, said that shopkeepers show resistance on other days to give Rs 10 coins as change as they keep the coins in piggy banks. “But, today (Wednesday) they gave Rs 10 coins,” he said adding that he too had initially apprehended taking the coins. But later he took the money after knowing that it was just a rumour.
Many shopkeepers had justified not taking Rs 10 coins saying that fake coins have been circulated in Bengal’s market through the porous border with Bangladesh.
They claimed that most of the coins are counterfeit ones, thus they would not take the coins.
Kartik Chandra Saha, a rickshaw puller in Salt Lake, said he has a fake Rs 10 coin. But he didn’t know what to do with that. “I would have easily given it to someone. But I don’t want to cheat someone by giving the fake coin. Thus, I want to know what to do with it. Some people suggested me to go to the bank,” Saha said.