Small-time traders in Chandni Chowk reel under shock ban of high-value notes
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes will be rendered illegal post the midnight of November 8, the decision has duly affected the small-time traders of Chandni Chowk. Right from Bhagirath Palace market, tucked next to the LIC building, which largely sells electrical goods such as lights and medicines as well, to the Old Lajpat Rai market which sells radio and related electrical parts, many traders and auto-drivers on Wednesday alleged that although the step taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is good and will stop black money, it has started affecting their business as well.
Since Wednesday morning, a few shopkeepers indulging in selling lights, watches shared with Millennium Post how they have not even made a wholesale transaction. “Since all our goods are sold on a large scale, neither have we sold anything nor bought anything in bulk. It is obvious that we use the denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 in our everyday transactions. Without these two notes, the ban has started affecting our usual business,” said Ashok Chanana, a trader who sells watches at the new Lajpat Rai market in Chandni Chowk.
Some distance away, inside the Bhagirath market, one Seno Jain, who has been running her lights’ store for the past 30 years in that area expressed how the decision has not started affecting them on a large scale. “Today is the first day after PM Modi’s announcement. The effect will slowly start to trickle down here. We make the most financial profits during Diwali. The decision, post Diwali, has not impacted us that much.”
However, another trader at the Bhagirath market, who is into selling fancy lights shared that since Wednesday morning, people have not come to the otherwise famous “lights market” to even buy a few bulbs. He said: “The crowd you see here today is just the usual labourers and the shopkeepers. This is not large in number.”
He said: “Like today, if even one day goes without the use of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, how will we (small-time traders) survive?”
Standing on the Main Chandni Chowk Road, Satish, an auto-driver added: “Today, the market area is less crowded. On any given day, there is no place to park an auto. However, I have been standing here for the past two hours and no one is using auto. Even if they do, we (the auto-drivers) are telling the passengers before hand not to give us Rs 500 notes.”