Two weeks on, cash woes continue for common people
The ordeal of people due to demonetisation of high value entered day 15 on Wednesday with the bank authorities failing to give any assurance as to when the situation will improve.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced banning of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on the night of November 8.
Despite Reserve Bank of India’s statement that there is a dearth of Rs 500 notes and the security personnel at the ATM counters requesting people not to swipe Rs 2,500 as Rs 500 notes are not available, the masses are not willing to listen. They are also requesting people to withdraw any amount less than Rs 2,000 at a time. “We live in an amazing country. It is my money but I cannot withdraw more than Rs 2,000,” said Sujay Dasgupta who had come to withdraw Rs 2,500 at the SBI’s ATM counter on Sarat Bose Road. Most of the ATMs are still closed as their up gradation has not yet been completed.
Long queues were seen outside banks and account holders had to wait for at least one hour on an average to withdraw money by depositing cheques. The maximum limit for withdrawal per week is Rs 24,000. But if someone has withdrawn money from the ATM before depositing the cheques for withdrawal, then the banks are forcing the customers to take the amount minus the amount he had already withdrawn from ATM.
The situation has worsened after conductors of state-run and private buses, auto-rickshaws refused to accept new Rs 10 coins alleging, that most of them are fake. Suhasini Sen, a student of Class IX alleged that the bus conductor of private bus on route number 212 refused to accept a Rs 10 coin and forced her to get down from the vehicle. “We do not have change and so we are requesting the passengers to pay the exact fare,” said Swapan Saha, conductor of a state-run bus.
Getting change for Rs 2,000 notes is posing a serious threat as the vegetable and fish vendors along with medicine shops are requesting people to buy goods above Rs 1,200 to get change. “We are requesting the customers to either pay the bill online or buy medicines around Rs 1,200 when they present a Rs 2,000 note and ask for change,” said salesman of a medicine shop on Southern Avenue. As the month is drawing near, helps have already told their employer that they would not accept old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.