RS 2000 Notes: People using petrol pumps as banks, say operators; markets turn away those producing Rs 2,000 notes | Delhi News
Even though RBI has clarified that the existing notes will continue to be legal tender, there is a visible sense of panic.
Kailash, who runs a small cloth shop at Janpath, said the announcement came as a shock to him. With the memories of demonetisation yet to fully fade, Kailash said he tried to get rid of as many currency notes as possible by buying supplies. “I am the sole bread winner of my family and the only person who is literate. Going to the bank and standing in a queue would mean I will have to close my shop for the day. So, I tried to spend the cash at the wholesale market. However, most shopkeepers either refused to accept the notes or claimed not to have change.”
Shalini Mehta, a shopper, said she wasn’t aware of RBI’s move and, so, was surprised that no one was accepting Rs 2,000 notes. “Most shopkeepers have been asking for digital payment or exact cash, giving the excuse that there is a shortage of change.”
In the narrow lanes of east Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar Market – the largest readymade garment hub of the city – there has been a huge rush of people trying to dispose of Rs 2,000 notes in their possession. The market has more than 11,000 wholesale and retail garment shops.
Vimal Jain, president of shopkeepers’ union, said: “People have been making a beeline to get rid of Rs 2,000 notes in the last two days. There is panic, especially among the retailers, which is why they are not accepting the currency or giving change. The bigger businesses are not that wary of accepting the currency.”
Petrol pumps in the city are witnessing a similar rush. Anurag Narayanan, an owner of one such facility in central Delhi, told TOI: “Instead of making digital or card payment, which is the usual preferred mode of payment, people are now handing over Rs 2,000 notes. Essentially, they are using petrol pumps as banks.”
Rajeev Jain, general secretary of Delhi Petrol Dealers’ Association, said: “There are around 400 petrol pumps in the city. Almost all of them are witnessing a rush of people trying to get rid of Rs 2,000 notes. In two days, there has been a four-time rise in transactions. Some operators have even put up boards, stating that they are not accepting Rs 2,000 notes.”
While people claim that the urgency is nothing compared with what the city witnessed in the wake of demonetisation in November 2016, this is definitely an inconvenience, as there is a shortage of smaller denomination currency in the market.
A grocer at a supermarket said, “Till yesterday, we were accepting the Rs 2,000 note, but now we are not, unless someone is buying supplies for the full amount. We do not have spare change to give back to customers.”