November 9, 2016
A cross-section of society, including trade and industry, politicians, though welcoming the move to scrap Rs. 500 and Rs.1,000 notes called for more flexibility and adequate time for the common people to act.
In his reaction, Tamil Nadu opposition leader M K Stalin said that considering the move to bring the economy back on the right track his party, the DMK, welcomed the step. However, the common man, traders and the poor will face a lot of hardship as it was implemented without giving enough time, he said.
Moreover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also remember his electoral promise of bringing back black money and depositing Rs.15 lakh into the account of every citizen, he pointed out.
President of the local chapter of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vanitha Mohan, said that though it was a welcome move to eliminate the parallel economy, there should have been more flexibility, as majority of the industry, particularly small and micro, dealt in cash transactions. It was not as if everybody was cheating and evading tax, and in view of this genuine people should have been given more flexibility, she said.
The worst hit by the move was taxis and autorickshaws, as petrol bunks were asking them to fill fuel for Rs. 500, drivers said. Since they ran based on customers and filled fuel as per requirement, the condition laid down by bunks has hit their livelihood, they said.
Bunk owners claimed that there was an acute shortage of Rs.100 notes as the government had not provided enough of those notes, so they couldn’t pay the remainder to drivers.
As far as gold and textile business went, they were not seriously affected since shopkeepers were accepting the scrapped notes, as they have 50 days’ time to return it to banks.
Another section feeling the heat was petty shopkeepers and roadside vendors, since most of their customers come with Rs. 500 notes and they were apprehensive to accept them.
When contacted, banks refused to confirm whether commission was being paid to accept Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes or to supply Rs. 100 notes to the needy.
Some leading hospitals are accepting Rs. 500 notes from patients.