SRI NAGAR: As there is chaos and turmoil in other parts of country due to demonetisation of `500 and `1,000 notes, people in Kashmir have remained mostly unaffected and no long queues are being witnessed at banks or ATMs. People in Kashmir are exchanging the old notes at bank branches with ease and without having to face any inconvenience. “I had to wait for just 5-10 minutes in a queue in a branch of J&K Bank at Lal Chowk, Srinagar, to exchange the old notes,” said Liyaqat Ahmad. “Thank God, there’s no trouble here,” he added.
People are also withdrawing money from ATMs without having to wait in queues. “I withdrew `2,000 from an ATM without having to wait in the queue as is the case outside the State,” said Sajjad Ahmad, a government employee.
Prominent businessman and civil society member, Shakeel Qalandar, said there are many factors for Kashmir not witnessing any chaos due to demonetisation. “The State has a workforce of about 42.5 lakh. They are all salaried employees and 90 per cent of them hold bank accounts. The salaried class gets monthly wages through bank accounts,” he said. He said because of the over four-month long unrest in the Valley, people have exhausted all cash.
Kashmir’s leading economist, Prof Nisar Ali, said there is no surprise behind no chaos at banks or long queues at ATMs. “It is because our economy is on hold,” said Nisar.