NEW DELHI: While the government’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes caught the common man by surprise, those with grease on their palms came up with innovative techniques to protect their ill-earned wealth. Two popular techniques that caught the market interest were to invest in the much sought after commodity - gold, and the highly improbable service - railway tickets.
While the official rates of gold climbed merely by one per cent on Thursday, market reports suggest people paid as much as Rs 65,000 for 10 grams, provided the jewellers accepted their demonetised currency. The clever charade did not go unnoticed as the Income Tax department swung into action conducting raids at jewellery shops across the country.
On the other hand, the unusual spike in ticket bookings has prompted the Railways to revise its cancellation policy. Now, no cash refunds would be made for cancellations above Rs 10,000 till November 11. There has been a whopping 1,000 per cent increase in AC-1 bookings since the announcement, sparking doubts of misuse. The Railways has, in fact, alerted the vigilance department about the unusual spike.
The plight of the common man, however, continued unabated with most of them having to wait in long queues outside banks. Facing severe demand, several banks turned away customers as they fell short of cash. The situation is expected to get better on Friday with banks deciding to work over the weekend to meet the surge in demand.