CHENNAI: There seems to be no end to the woes of the common man after Rs 500 and Rs 1000 ceased to be legal tender. Many daily wage earners and senior citizens have to go even without a cup of tea in the past few days.
This trend has hit business in roadside tea shops. As a way out, a few shops manage to keep customers by supplying tea on debt and maintain accounts for some of their regular customers.
“Most people give the old Rs 500 notes to buy even one cup of tea, as they don’t have change. Even if I am willing to accept the currencies, I don’t have change to give them back,” says Ashok Kumar, a tea stall owner at MKB Nagar at Vyasarpadi.
“I used to drink tea at least five times a day. But, now I have to cut it down as I don’t have money. I have got new Rs 2,000 notes. But, most shops don’t have change to give me. So, I have to compromise on my daily quota of tea,” said Anand Babu, who works at a construction site at Parrys corner.
“Our employer made our weekly payment in the old currencies saying he did not have new notes to give. I don’t know, how to exchange it. With all these, even buying a cup of tea at tea stalls is becoming difficult for me. Without sipping a cup of tea, it is difficult for us to work at the construction site, as we are used to it,” Babu added.
Not only labourers, most senior citizens say they also face the same problem. “We have to open an account in a tea shop, as we don’t have change and left with only higher denomination notes. Since, we know the vendor, it has solved the issue. But I am facing problem, during travel. Even if I feel like having a tea at the road side shop, I cannot,” said S A Deivamani, president of Artisan Residents’ Welfare Association.
“These days, I stopped having tea, because tea shops don’t have change. I wonder, what happened to all smaller denominations like Rs 10, 20 or 50. People are facing a dearth of these currencies. This is the reason, even tea stalls are affected,” said V Prabhudoss at Walltax Road.