KERALA

Cash crunch still keeps people in its grip

People queuing up in front of the State Bank of India main branch in Kannur on Sunday.—Photo: S.K. MOHAN

People queuing up in front of the State Bank of India main branch in Kannur on Sunday.—Photo: S.K. MOHAN  

Trade hit for another day as people desperately queue up before banks for new currency notes

Woes of the public following the demonetisation of Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 denominations and subsequent shortage of cash, especially currencies of lower denominations, continued for the fourth day on Sunday, as people queued up in front of banks.

While the number of customers who turned up in most of the bank branches here on Sunday for exchanging their demonetised currencies and withdrawing cash was fewer than on the previous days, the State Bank of India main branch here continued to have a large turnout of customers.

Volunteers

Volunteers of organisations such as the Democratic Youth Federation of India helped customers fill the forms for exchanging and withdrawing money.

Most of the people who reached the banks to withdraw cash were desperate to get currency notes of lower denominations, which are in short supply. Daily normal life was affected by the shortage, as they could not pay fish vendors and grocery shops with Rs. 2,000 notes they possessed.

“I gave a cheque for Rs.10,000 to this bank and when the bank staff at the counter gave me five Rs.2,000 notes, I said I wanted smaller denomination,” said Muhammad Kunji of Adikadalayi here, as he came out of the Syndicate Bank main branch here.

As the bank had no notes of lower denomination, he insisted that the transaction be cancelled, he said.

Some customers, however, heaved a sigh of relief that they could manage to withdraw cash from the bank without much hassle on Sunday, as there was no big rush as in the previous days.

“I managed to get Rs.10,000 from my bank this morning without much delay,” said A. Satheesh, from Anjampeedika here, who is a contract worker of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. here.

Difficulty in getting changes after purchases at shops and restaurants has affected the businesses.

Fewer customers

Shopping centres here had fewer customers on Sunday because of the shortage of lower denomination currencies.

Shopping centres have pasted posters at the entrances and cash counters asking customers to co-operate with them by paying Rs.100, Rs.50, Rs.20 and Rs.10 denominations.

E.T. Rafeeque, an autorikshaw driver here, said the shortage of currencies of Rs.100 and lower denominations have affected his daily revenue from fare paid by passengers. Now, he had to ask passengers before they boarded the vehicle whether they had notes of lower denominations, he said.

A newspaper agent here said his collection of newspaper subscriptions from his customers was also affected because of the present impasse.

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