SAMBALPUR: There seems to be no change in the current scenario as people across the district continue to face the brunt of demonetisation even after 50 days. Long queues were witnessed outside the banks to deposit old currency notes as the deadline came to end on Friday. Moreover, people continue to face trouble while withdrawing money as most of the ATMs still run dry.
Harried over the inconvenience, locals slammed Centre’s demonetisation move and expressed that for a handful of black money seizure, nearly 125 crore people of the country had to suffer.
Banning old currency notes and lack of circulation of the new ones affected our daily activities miserably, a local said.
Containing inflation should have been given priority over demonetisation, a housewife said. The entire middle class and poor section of the society have to feel the pinch of inflation.
Lack of preparedness and poor coordination between RBI, Union Government and banks added to the chaos as the banks were unclear about the decision made at the top.
The whimsical decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was directionless and now appears to be aimless as he is shifting to cashless and digital economy rather than addressing the main issue, another local said.
However, it was the farm sector and the farmers who seem to be the worst hit. Distress sale marked the demonetisation process pushing farmers into uncertainty.
“Demonetisation robbed the farmers of their self-esteem as they looked for credit to pay to labourers and purchasing fertilisers despite having money in their accounts,” said farmer leader Saroj.
From paddy to cotton to vegetables growers everybody suffered for a few people who owned black money and were forced to resort to distress sale to get money. Although the MSP of cotton is Rs 4,160, farmers had to sell it for much less price whenever they were offered cash in new currency notes.
Even beedi rollers were without work as beedi manufacturing companies were shut down failing to pay wages in absence of cash. The case is similar in stone crushing units, stone quarries and many such enterprises where owners have to make daily or weekly payment but failed to discharge their obligations due to cash cruch, forcing them to close operations,.
Moreover, the migrants also continue to suffer as they found sending money to their families back home an uphill task. A senior bank official, on the condition of anonymity, said as long as there is cash shortage, banks will not be able to function properly and people will continue to suffer. No one is sure when enough cash will be in circulation to meet the needs of the economy, he quipped.
Old currencies in temple hundi
Apprehending presence of old currency notes in the hundi of Samaleswari Temple, the authorities opened it ahead of schedule. During counting they found seven Rs 1,000 notes and 15 number of Rs 500 notes and the total collection stood at Rs 1,20,803. Samaleswari Temple Trust president Sanjay Babu said the old currencies were immediately deposited in the bank account of the temple.