50 paise coin losing its sheen in market

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) says that 50 paise coin is still a legal tender. But, from shopkeepers to traders, laundrymen, rickshaw pullers, bus commuters and provision store owners, the smallest denomination of the Indian currency is simply not acceptable any more. Even beggars do not accept a 50 paise coin these days.

The people become anxious at very sight of 50 paise coins given the fact that the vendors and petty traders do not accept it. All explanations that the 50 paise is still a legal tender fell on a deaf ear. The people have made up their minds that 50 paise is withdrawn from circulation, says Malathi, a homemaker. “It is not just me who is facing this problem day in and day out. But, everyone who carries a 50 paise coin,” she adds.

The shopkeepers, in particular, are in the habit of refusing 50 paise coin a bit though they themselves force the customer to take a toffee or two for the same amount as they say they do not have the change, adds Nagamalleswara Rao, who visits Patamata Rythu Bazaar regularly.

But, the vegetable vendors have a different version. The prices are generally rounded. Or at least the quantity of vegetables purchased is rounded to avoid small change problem. So the question of refusing 50 paise doesn’t arise, says a vendor, who refused to tell her name.

Then what they do with the 50 paise coins? Senior citizen Syyed Haji says that he collects all 50 paise coins and exchanges them in a nearest bank instead of picking up argument with vendors. Although it is illegal to decline a coin still in circulation, the public seem to have made up it mind. The raging inflation has made it virtually worthless, he feels.

“I prefer to deposit them in a temple hundi. It is easiest way to get rid of them,” laughs S. Ramya, a teenager.

Andhra Bank Deputy General Manager G.S.V. Krishna Rao says that 50 paise coins were legal tender as per the RBI guidelines. We are accepting 50 paise coins. Anyone can walk into Andhra Bank and exchange their coins, he says.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2021 8:47:41 PM |

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