KOCHI: Rappai runs a dry fruits shop in Broadway. When Express met him in his store, a customer was making a purchase of raisins. She handed him a note of Rs 2,000 for the purchase of Rs 660. And there was not enough balance money to return. He runs to the neighbouring shops and finally returns with enough money to give the balance amount. Ever since the introduction of the new notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 denominations, this is a common practice with small-scale shopkeepers.
“The government, when they abolished the old notes, said they will introduce notes of smaller denominations. But then, look what we have,” said Rappai. And the absence of notes of denominations between Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 just keeps adding to the trouble. “There have been many times when customers have cancelled their orders because we don’t have change for Rs 2,000,” said Rashid, another shopkeeper on Broadway.
However, this is just the case of small-scale shopkeepers. “Though there was an initial difficulty after the controversial announcement in November 2016, there is a relief after the introduction of Rs 10,
Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 200 and Rs 500 notes,” said T Naseeruddin, state president of Kerala Vyapara Vyavasaya Ekopana Samithi.
Since the note ban, small-scale businesses have been struggling to find ground. Going forward, only a small section of enterprises are involved in cashless transactions. But this is not the case always. “We don’t encourage point-of-sale transactions unless the price is over Rs 300. Because we run a small shop, we need the cash,” said Rashid, who runs a footwear store.
“We don’t encourage small-scale businesses to do cashless transactions either. For every online transaction, a small amount is charged which is not helping them,” said T Naseeruddin, state president of Kerala Vyapara Vyavasaya Ekopana Samithi.