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100 days of demonetisation, Problem still persists

Many ATMs are dispensing Rs. 2000 notes and lower denomination notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 100 are rarely available.

Even though 100 days have passed ever since the Modi government had undertaken the demonetisation drive but citizens are still unable to withdraw currency notes of lower denomination. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to nation to give him 50 days to fight against black money and eliminate corruption initially citizens had supported him. Later serpentine queues were visible outside banks and ATMs as citizens had to struggle to withdraw and deposit their hard earned money. The government may have raised the weekly withdrawal limits to Rs. 50,000 for savings account holders but many ATMs are dispensing only currency notes of Rs. 2000 denomination.

Very few ATMs are filled with Rs. 500 and Rs. 100 notes. Currency note of Rs. 100 denomination is not easily available and ATMs are only dispensing five notes of this denomination. Therefore, people are finding it difficult to obtain change for buying essential commodities. Often shopkeepers refuse to accept Rs. 2000 note and ask customers to buy more commodities. The scenario is no different in banks as cashiers offer Rs. 2000 note to customers while withdrawing money from their account. Often, there is exchange of words between customers and bank officials over high denomination notes.

Sameer Wadekar, a Kandivali resident said, “The government had assured that situation will resort to normalcy after 50 days but now 100 days have passed but people are unable to get lower denomination notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 100. At many ATMs a notice is pasted mentioning that only currency note of Rs .2,000 is available.”

Mohit Vyas, an accountant employed with a brokerage firm said, “I doubt whether demonetisation has brought the desired result of unearthing black money. Many people had already deposited their money in other person’s account to evade taxes. The government had failed to do its homework properly as they could have made alternative arrangements to reduce the inconvenience caused to citizens.”

Satish Rohankar, a marketing executive working with a FMCG firm said, “Unless and until people are able to withdraw more notes of lower denominations, we can’t say that demonetisation drive has worked. Already several labours have become unemployed after their employers were finding it difficult to pay their wages due to currency shortage.”

Prashant Dhuri, a Borivali resident said, “Demonetisation will have an adverse effect on India’s GDP. Already, several infrastructure projects have stuck due to note ban. According to me, it will take atleast one year for India to recover from the demonetisation woes.”

On November 8, Mr. Modi demonetised 20 billion bank notes, accounting for 86 per cent of the cash in circulation in the Indian economy. Even though government is claiming that there is no liquidity crunch but people still possess only 40 per cent of currency as compared to what they had a year back. There were also reports mentioning that large amount of money is yet to come back into formal banking system. Thus, questions are being raised whether demonetisation was a huge blunder committed by the Modi government.

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