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Miseries continue on Day 4 of demonetisation

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Nov 12 - People continued to face difficulty in exchanging old notes and withdrawing cash from their accounts on the fourth day of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes even as a majority of ATMs remained closed, triggering widespread frustration and disappointment.

There was no let-up in the shortage of small denomination notes, despite contrary claims by the Central government and major banks.

Only select ATMs were functional today also, leading to long queues and frustration among the people, while banks continued to witness huge rush for cash. At many places, public were annoyed after they could not even withdraw money from ATMs despite standing for long hours.

Some ATMs, which opened towards the afternoon, were shut down within an hour or two after the machines ran out of cash.

The other major problem was that the ATMs were not configured to dispense Rs 2,000 currency notes, which are slightly smaller than the old Rs 1,000 currency notes. The ATMs are configured to dispense only notes of Rs 1,000, Rs 500 and Rs 100 denominations.

Bankers admitted that the ATMs need to be re-configured, an exercise which might take about a week�s time.

Those who got Rs 2,000 notes from banks or ATMs had little to cheer about due to shortage of small denomination notes for which they were unable to use them.

�I got a Rs 2,000 note from the bank yesterday, but I have not been able to use it as no one seems to have the change. With that note, it is as good as having no money at all. Even petrol depots are unable to give change,� said Gaurav Hazarika, an employee of a private firm at Ulubari.

Shopkeepers who do not accept payments through cards are going home empty handed. Some traders were apprehensive that if the banking system does not recover quickly, the demonetisation move could seriously impact their livelihood.

�No customer is coming with small notes. Some have taken commodities on credit. Though it is supposed to be a temporary inconvenience, a section of small businessmen like us will be hit hard if the situation persists for some more days,� said Mukesh Bansal, a grocery shop owner at Ganeshguri.

�The wholesalers are also not accepting bigger notes as a result of which we are unable to replenish the commodities at our shop,� Bansal added.

Business is dull at the major markets, as vegetable vendors, fishmongers and other small traders continued to be among the worst hit. �No one is paying in small notes and we too do not have changes. A lot of vegetables are going waste daily,� vendors at Ganeshguri market said.

Withdrawal limits of Rs 10,000 per day and Rs 20,000 per week from banks have also hit the traders and business establishments hard.

�The amount is not sufficient for even a small grocery shop. Imagine the condition of bigger shops and other establishments. This section mostly depends on cash transactions,� said Amol Das who deals in essentials.

The North East Book Fair also recorded a sharp decline in footfall in the last two days as most stalls ran out of small notes and were unable to provide change to customers. Only a few big stalls had machines to receive payments through cards.

�The last two days were really bad. Those who can accept bigger notes are accepting. The sales dropped by more than 50 per cent. Today, it is a little better,� All Assam Publishers and Book Sellers Association general secretary Dhiraj Goswami said.

Though people are supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s decision to demonetise high denomination notes, not all are happy with the way it is being executed. There is a general view that proper preparation could have been made in advance to ensure that the common people do not suffer.

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Miseries continue on Day 4 of demonetisation

GUWAHATI, Nov 12 - People continued to face difficulty in exchanging old notes and withdrawing cash from their accounts on the fourth day of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes even as a majority of ATMs remained closed, triggering widespread frustration and disappointment.

There was no let-up in the shortage of small denomination notes, despite contrary claims by the Central government and major banks.

Only select ATMs were functional today also, leading to long queues and frustration among the people, while banks continued to witness huge rush for cash. At many places, public were annoyed after they could not even withdraw money from ATMs despite standing for long hours.

Some ATMs, which opened towards the afternoon, were shut down within an hour or two after the machines ran out of cash.

The other major problem was that the ATMs were not configured to dispense Rs 2,000 currency notes, which are slightly smaller than the old Rs 1,000 currency notes. The ATMs are configured to dispense only notes of Rs 1,000, Rs 500 and Rs 100 denominations.

Bankers admitted that the ATMs need to be re-configured, an exercise which might take about a week�s time.

Those who got Rs 2,000 notes from banks or ATMs had little to cheer about due to shortage of small denomination notes for which they were unable to use them.

�I got a Rs 2,000 note from the bank yesterday, but I have not been able to use it as no one seems to have the change. With that note, it is as good as having no money at all. Even petrol depots are unable to give change,� said Gaurav Hazarika, an employee of a private firm at Ulubari.

Shopkeepers who do not accept payments through cards are going home empty handed. Some traders were apprehensive that if the banking system does not recover quickly, the demonetisation move could seriously impact their livelihood.

�No customer is coming with small notes. Some have taken commodities on credit. Though it is supposed to be a temporary inconvenience, a section of small businessmen like us will be hit hard if the situation persists for some more days,� said Mukesh Bansal, a grocery shop owner at Ganeshguri.

�The wholesalers are also not accepting bigger notes as a result of which we are unable to replenish the commodities at our shop,� Bansal added.

Business is dull at the major markets, as vegetable vendors, fishmongers and other small traders continued to be among the worst hit. �No one is paying in small notes and we too do not have changes. A lot of vegetables are going waste daily,� vendors at Ganeshguri market said.

Withdrawal limits of Rs 10,000 per day and Rs 20,000 per week from banks have also hit the traders and business establishments hard.

�The amount is not sufficient for even a small grocery shop. Imagine the condition of bigger shops and other establishments. This section mostly depends on cash transactions,� said Amol Das who deals in essentials.

The North East Book Fair also recorded a sharp decline in footfall in the last two days as most stalls ran out of small notes and were unable to provide change to customers. Only a few big stalls had machines to receive payments through cards.

�The last two days were really bad. Those who can accept bigger notes are accepting. The sales dropped by more than 50 per cent. Today, it is a little better,� All Assam Publishers and Book Sellers Association general secretary Dhiraj Goswami said.

Though people are supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s decision to demonetise high denomination notes, not all are happy with the way it is being executed. There is a general view that proper preparation could have been made in advance to ensure that the common people do not suffer.