Demonetisation: Small businesses hit hard

It is not sure if the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to demonetise high denomination currency notes has affected black money hoarders and will help in unearthing black money, but it has surely affected small business establishments in and around the city.

The small traders are finding it very difficult to deal with customers as most of them are offering Rs 500 notes against their purchases. With most of the shops refusing to accept demonetised currency notes, though they can be exchanged till December 30, their business has seen a sharp decline in the last few days.

“As compared to earlier, there is a decline of 60 percent in my business. There is no footfall of customers as most of the people don’t have cash or are busy in exchanging their money. There are people who come for purchase but with old Rs 500 notes which I had refused to accept,” owner of a general store, Ramu told City Today.

While a few business establishments are accepting demonetised notes, giving away the change has remained a big problem for them. With no cash in the pockets, they claim that people are moving to big outlets like Big Bazar and More for the purchase as they accept credit and debit cards.

“I have been waiting for customers since morning and I hadn’t sold a single fruit yet. I don’t know if I could be able sell any fruit till evening as people who come for purchase are asking if Rs 500 currency note is accepted. What I will do with those worthless notes. I cannot wait in queues for whole day in order to get them exchanged,” a fruit merchant Nisar said.

Situation is no different at petrol bunks as well. With non-availability of change, consumers are asked to fill petrol for Rs 500. “Many people come here with Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes to fill petrol for Rs 100 and rest they ask for change. Even we do not have Rs 100 currency notes. We tell them to either give change or fill petrol for the entire amount.”

Many shop owners say that the demonetisation of money would only affect poor and not rich people. “The black money is stashed away in foreign banks, foreign currency, gold or properties and less in cash. To target less percentage of black money in cash, entire country, mostly poor, are made to suffer,” said another shop owner.

However, the situation is bound to remain unchanged for small business establishments until enough currency notes are available at the banks and ATMs which would take a week or two.

By Mujahid Deputy

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