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Scarcity of small notes hits vegetable market

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Nov 19 - It�s around noon. Vendor Haren Basumatary sprinkles some water on the vegetables displayed on the footpath at Ganeshguri to keep them firm and hydrated so that they appear fresh. Since morning, he has sold only a few kg of cauliflower.

�Today I had brought vegetables worth Rs 3,000 from the grower. Not a single brinjal (eggplant) has been sold so far. Don�t know how much I have to take back home again today. Forget about profit; I don�t think I would even get the money I put in,� Basumatary, a resident of Panikheti said, as he awaits the elusive customers.

In fact, Basumatary had skipped business yesterday in frustration following days of slowdown.

�Earlier, I used to sell vegetables worth over Rs 5,000/6,000 every day. These days, the sales are like Rs 1,500/1,700. People are not buying stuff and those who are coming do not have small notes. How can I change a Rs 2,000 note for vegetables worth Rs 50 or say Rs 100?� he exclaims.

Like Basumatary, many vegetable vendors reported 60/70 per cent slump in their day-to-day sales.

On Saturday, prices of vegetables plummeted considerably. From Rs 40-50 a kg a few days back, cauliflower prices dropped to Rs 20 in the retail market at Ganeshguri. Same was the case with prices of cabbage, squash and brinjal. Prices of carrot and beans also decreased marginally to Rs 60, while tomato was priced at Rs 35-40. In some city markets, it was even less. Prices of potato and onions also decreased marginally.

Meanwhile, small denomination notes continued to elude people. Bank managers of various branches said that the RBI was unable to provide Rs 100 denomination notes for the last couple of days. This has also led to lesser people thronging the banks.

�People are reluctant to take Rs 2,000 notes as they are not able to use them due to lack of small notes in the market. People who have got Rs 100 notes during the first few days of demonetisation, are wary of spending due to the fragile situation,� a bank manager said.

Bankers say the rush will increase again once the Rs 5,00 notes arrive, which are expected in a couple of days time. Today, the banks opened the exchange counter only for senior citizens.

Many ATMs across the city continued to remain shut. Most machines which were open and were dispensing only Rs 2,000 notes, witnessed small queues than others. Banks are also witnessing an increasing demand for setting up of ATMs in new locations, card swiping machines from traders and opening of fresh accounts.

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Scarcity of small notes hits vegetable market

GUWAHATI, Nov 19 - It�s around noon. Vendor Haren Basumatary sprinkles some water on the vegetables displayed on the footpath at Ganeshguri to keep them firm and hydrated so that they appear fresh. Since morning, he has sold only a few kg of cauliflower.

�Today I had brought vegetables worth Rs 3,000 from the grower. Not a single brinjal (eggplant) has been sold so far. Don�t know how much I have to take back home again today. Forget about profit; I don�t think I would even get the money I put in,� Basumatary, a resident of Panikheti said, as he awaits the elusive customers.

In fact, Basumatary had skipped business yesterday in frustration following days of slowdown.

�Earlier, I used to sell vegetables worth over Rs 5,000/6,000 every day. These days, the sales are like Rs 1,500/1,700. People are not buying stuff and those who are coming do not have small notes. How can I change a Rs 2,000 note for vegetables worth Rs 50 or say Rs 100?� he exclaims.

Like Basumatary, many vegetable vendors reported 60/70 per cent slump in their day-to-day sales.

On Saturday, prices of vegetables plummeted considerably. From Rs 40-50 a kg a few days back, cauliflower prices dropped to Rs 20 in the retail market at Ganeshguri. Same was the case with prices of cabbage, squash and brinjal. Prices of carrot and beans also decreased marginally to Rs 60, while tomato was priced at Rs 35-40. In some city markets, it was even less. Prices of potato and onions also decreased marginally.

Meanwhile, small denomination notes continued to elude people. Bank managers of various branches said that the RBI was unable to provide Rs 100 denomination notes for the last couple of days. This has also led to lesser people thronging the banks.

�People are reluctant to take Rs 2,000 notes as they are not able to use them due to lack of small notes in the market. People who have got Rs 100 notes during the first few days of demonetisation, are wary of spending due to the fragile situation,� a bank manager said.

Bankers say the rush will increase again once the Rs 5,00 notes arrive, which are expected in a couple of days time. Today, the banks opened the exchange counter only for senior citizens.

Many ATMs across the city continued to remain shut. Most machines which were open and were dispensing only Rs 2,000 notes, witnessed small queues than others. Banks are also witnessing an increasing demand for setting up of ATMs in new locations, card swiping machines from traders and opening of fresh accounts.