Rumours about discontinuation of Rs. 10 coins and the smaller Rs. 1 coins have made them restricted currency in Berhampur, a major trading centre of Odisha.
Traders and shopkeepers have not been accepting these coins for over a year now. During the last months of 2016, when the demonetisation process was continuing, a rumour spread in the city that the government will demonetise Rs. 10 coins too. “Everyone knows it is a rumour as the Reserve Bank of India has not come up with any notification about it, but these coins are no more accepted as means of transaction here,” said Manoj Patnaik, a lawyer.
A similar rumour floated a few months ago sealed the fate of the smaller Rs. 1 coins in Berhampur. Now everyone in the city wants to pay with these coins but no one is ready to accept them.
A few weeks ago, the administration had come up with a notification that these two coins are continuing as a mode of transaction. It also cautioned people against the rumours being spread about the coins. However, it had had little impact on the attitude of the people. According to Berhampur sub-collector S.S. Swain, if needed, the administration will come up with another notification in the near future.
The Rs. 10 and Rs. 1 coins are mostly transacted at small shops and trading centres. Some of them accept the smaller Rs. 1 coins after much argument, but the Rs. 10 coins are a strict no-no. Balakrushna Dash, a trader, said they do not accept these coins as the customers do not accept them. Some traders alleged that even the banks do not accept them.
When asked, some bank officials said that at times they do not accept these coins as traders come to deposit thousands of rupees in coins and counting them is a time-consuming process. Also, their storage becomes a problem.
According to R.Srinivas, a resident, this problem emerged in Berhampur because people had saved a large number of Rs. 10 coins, and after the rumour spread, all wanted to get them transacted in the market.
Now people of Berhampur are transacting their Rs. 10 and Rs. 1 coins during their visit to places like Puri and Bhubaneswar. Prahlad Gouda, a resident, said he spent his stock of Rs. 10 coins in Puri during his visit to the holy city for the Rathyatra.