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Demonetisation disaster

Friday, January 06, 2017

2017 has begun, and yet, contrary to the promise made by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, the end of the cash crunch is nowhere in sight and people are still struggling. The queues outside ATMs have become shorter, but people are complaining that they only manage to get Rs 2,000 currency notes. Whenever I withdrew money from an ATM before the withdrawal limit was increased, I got only Rs 2,000 notes. I still hesitate before going to vegetable shops or small grocery stores because they are reluctant to accept Rs 2,000 notes. Surprisingly, the new Rs 500 notes are still not readily available in the market. This is a problem because payments to small traders are usually made in Rs 100 and Rs 500 notes. The options for online payments may sound easy, but most traders are still not willing to adopt them. Many petrol pumps and shops still do not accept credit or debit cards as a mode of payment. The use of these cards for making purchases is mostly limited to supermarkets. It will take six months for people to start making payments online; even then, it cannot be a replacement for cash in a cash-based economy like ours. Given the situation on the ground, perhaps Narendra Modi failed to anticipate the economic disaster that his decision would bring upon the country. According to reports, markets are depressed and down, people are losing their jobs and many still have to stand for hours to draw a restricted portion of their own money. I doubt that things will change anytime soon which proves that the decision of the demonetisation by the Narendra Modi was a disaster without any planning and home work in place.

—Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai

Absurd rules
Everyday, new and absurd rules are being made post-demonetisation by the Prime Minister. The latest being to penalise keepers of old currency notes. Once these notes have been declared invalid, how can they be used in financial transactions? If anyone is found using these notes for financial transactions, he/she must be punished and not the keepers of such notes. Like there are collectors of postal stamps, there are also collectors of old currency notes. After March 31, 2017, these demonetised notes of course become worthless paper and they will have no value. Modi is only trying to gain cheap publicity by introducing new schemes everyday which are baseless. He should put an end to all this and resign from his post.

— Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai

Patience is the key post demonetisation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi did acknowledge the strenuous work put in by honest bank employees post demonetisation where few even lost their lives due to the resultant stress in his landmark address to the nation, but he should have announced compensation like an extra bonus salary for their efforts which would have been a fitting compensation for their efforts. Rs 6,000 for pregnant women is perfect example of 'Cash on delivery' which one thought was a gimmick or vote bank politics as such moves would only encourage population explosions when family planning should be the order of the day to curb our teeming numbers.

Demonetisation was an historic and bold move but has hit our economy hard in the present and immediate future. The benefits could be long-term but all our efforts must be made by government to normalise banking operations which is the lifeline of our economy.

The intentions of the PM to eradicate corruption cannot be questioned & every citizen should cooperate in this movement to make it a success. Bureaucrats and politicians accept bribes when people are willing to make under the table payments to get their work done to evade laws and rules. If citizens themselves follow restraint from such malpractices, corruption can be completely eradicated in the coming times!

— S.N. Kabra, Goregaon

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