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Nalbari farmers, labourers worst affected due to currency shortage

By Correspondent

NALBARI, Nov 19 - The Central Government�s decision to ban notes of Rs 500 and Rs1000 denominations on November 8 night has brought about a lot of problems for the farmers, labourers and rural folk of Nalbari district.

The inadequate bank branches and lack of services in most of the rural ATMs have complicated the situation in the agriculture-based district. During this peak time of harvesting, the farmers of the rural areas have miserably failed to do harvesting properly due to the lack of labourers. �We have failed to engage labourers to harvest the ripe paddy as we don�t have the required money to make payments to them,� said a senior farmer of Barbhag area Khagen Chandra Kalita. He added that his nearest bank branch of Assam Gramin Vikash Bank (AGVB) is giving only Rs 2000 to the customers, that too after a week of banning the currency notes. The meagre amount collected after standing in a long queue is totally insufficient to run a family, Kalita added. According to him the prices of agricultural products are decreasing in the markets as the people have lost purchasing capacity due to shortage of currency. The poor farmer lamented that he has no alternative but to sell the vegetable products at a low price. Kalita is not the only farmer suffering in the district, but it�s a fact that almost all the farmers are suffering by all the farmers.

A vegetable vendor of Nagera chak of Nalbari town told this correspondent that on Thursday evening he sold vegetables losing Rs 2100. He sold brinjal, cauliflower, knolkhol, cabbage only at Rs 10 to Rs 15 per kg. Similar is the fate of the fish and meat sellers in the district.

The sales of those items is drastically falling, sources said here. Nalbari district has a total of 65 bank branches including national and rural banks. The district has a total of 472 villages covering a total population of 7,71,639. As per a government report, the district has only one bank branch among eight villages. Besides, the number of ATMs is not more than 50 in village areas of the district. However, the ATMs of the village areas have been lying defunct since November 9 morning due to shortage of currency. Similarly, the bank branches like those of the AGVB which has the highest number of banches in the district, are giving only Rs 2000 to each customer. The negligence of bank authority to provide defined amount to the customer has complicated the situation and poses a serious threat to the market economy. Specially, the farmers and the daily wage labourers are worst affected in the agricultural district. The Nalbari district administration has taken no step to monitor the bank works, especially in the rural areas.

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