[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n Sunday, banks were open for currency exchange, but we witness serpentine queues and uncontrollable rush at every ATM and bank. People were carrying chairs to sit in the queue, and some carried lunch box with them. Some others arranged family members to stand in the queue turn by turn. Many were in the queue by losing their daily wages, countless are starving. In exchange, Bank has allotted one note of Rs. 2000 and twenty notes of hundred denomination but people were showing reluctant over Rs. 2000 denomination as no one has change to accept that high denomination. This is where money mafias are mushrooming in the market making huge profit. They are offering Rs. 700 for exchanging old Rs. 1000 denomination note and Rs. 350 for 500 denomination note. Banks are too supporting these money mafias; otherwise managing Rs. 100 denomination notes on such large scale is really impossible.
The currency availability scenario in the city continued to remain bleak, with long queues witnessed at banks and ATM kiosks. While about 45 per cent of the ATMs have been calibrated to accommodate the new currency, the rest will be calibrated over the next five days, a spokesperson of a public sector bank said. RBI needs to increase the availability of old Rs. 100 denomination note in an emergency basis as it is in tremendous short supply due to demonetization of 500 and 1000 notes. Also the new Rs. 2000 note which is being provided by banks as replacement for old currency is virtually impossible to use in shops as shopkeeper does not have balance change to return. Hence, new Rs. 500 note needs to be circulated urgently. The government should open counters other than banks with installations to overcome this difficulty.
According to me, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has handled the demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes in the same way you would handle a busy coffee house. It’s the most unprofessional manner in which he has undertaken the demonetisation drive, which has cost India dearly. India will head towards recession and it could drop up to 2 points because people will not be able to invest money which they have lost. It would not surprise me, if Modi would have informed his party and friends to exchange their money in advance. However, what BJP walas wanted to see that Congress walas should stand in queues to change their money but that has not been seen yet. The poor people who have not heard about changing Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 will lose their money. The recalibration of the ATMs may require outside help and hence would take more time. However, lack of smaller denominations available hurting the functioning of the ATMs. RBI should have made adequate arrangements for easier movement of such notes in quantity. The intense inconvenience caused to public is already outweighing the illusory benefit. This right-wing regime has no understanding of the lives of the crores of ordinary people.
In the past, the “Shining India” slogan revealed their mind and people rejected them in 2004 even when Congress didn’t enjoy much credibility for the number of seats it won. This time again the mind is being revealed with each seven-star measure of the government. The scenario out there was people are crying out for a little cash in hand. , Already, there is news of death in hospitals due to lack of cash. The government failed to foresee the severity of the ensuing situation because they live in ivory tower. It is the government’s duty to manage the consequences of demonetization. Instead the government is asking the people to stagger postpone things. How do you stagger paying for groceries and the essential things of life? It is simple. Let me go hungry for the next few days. Then it will be the turn of my neighbour. And it is the turn of my neighbour’s neighbour and so on and so forth. Those who had only the new notes but little else soon realised that normalcy would take a while to return to their lives.
With little cash in hand, small traders and shopkeepers are unable to keep their businesses running and our PM is busy inviting Japanese industrialists to invest in India. Panic/ confusion at all levels, this is like tsunami disturbs normal life. In India, these things are common but after some days a new problem will arise and people will forget this. The next surgical attack will be from the UP voters in the ballot box, which BJP will regret and retreat. In Bihar election, BJP had to face massive defeat for its anti-poor policy. Even then it has not understood about the feelings of those who sent them to rule. The current government rarely cares about poor. All that they care about is – big industrialists, keeping themselves in news (to increase vote-bank), and creating impression of false nationalism. After creating so much trouble to everybody (especially poor), if this step was taken by the government to help improve economy of the country, then we should expect them reduce the income-tax next. But, certainly they will not do this. This could have been well planned. It’s sad that country suffers from incompetent civil service motivated by self-preservation.
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