KERALA

Essentials are at a premium

Shortage of lower denomination notes affects transactions at shops, petrol pumps

The relatively shorter queues in front of many banks in the city on Sunday generated the impression that life is returning to normal sooner than anticipated following the demonetisation of Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 notes.

However, in reality, cash crunch has begun to affect the public, who are being denied essential commodities for want of lower denomination notes.

As had been the norm during the last few days, a large number of people flocked to ATM kiosks in various parts of the city.

However, many ATMs either remained non-functional or were not stocked with cash.

Bank officials attributed the problem to the delayed supply of adequate currency notes.

“While the Rs.2,000 notes are yet to be loaded in most ATMs, there is a severe shortage of Rs.50 and Rs.100 notes. Even soiled notes were placed in ATMs, which affected the smooth functioning of the machines and led to glitches,” a bank official said.

Many vegetable and fruit vendors refused to sell their wares if notes of higher denomination were offered. In a bid to circumvent the crisis, traders have been offering to accept Rs.500 notes for purchases worth Rs.300 or more. There were not many takers for such offers, though.

At petrol pumps, motorists who tried to pay with the new Rs.2,000 notes were denied fuel. “Many motorists had to accept balance amounts in the old Rs.500 notes. What other option do we have under the present circumstances?” asks a worker at a fuel station at the General Hospital Junction.

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