TAMIL NADU

People flock to Sunday market to exchange recalled notes

difficult times:Business at M.G. Street in Puducherry was dull on Sunday.— Photo: S.S. Kumar

difficult times:Business at M.G. Street in Puducherry was dull on Sunday.— Photo: S.S. Kumar  

As several ATMs were shut on Sunday in Puducherry, people tried their luck to get the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 denominations exchanged at the roadside outlets in Sunday market. The usually buzzing Sunday market, almost wore a deserted look. A handful of them who visited the shop merely came to get the higher denomination notes exchanged.

“Our shop is always crowded on weekends. But, this Sunday we have no work to do. We are only waiting for the customers. Those who come to the shop requested us to use their visa or credit cards and give the change in cash. We had to even take Rs. 500 denominations. If we do not do this, we would be unable to earn even the minimum amount required for our expenses,” said a retail store owner on MG Road.

Ramakrishna, who sets up an outlet on Sundays to sell textiles on MG Road, said people were giving only Rs. 500 currency notes to buy a T-shirt or a trouser worth Rs. 100 in order to get the change. “I did accept four Rs. 500 notes and after that I stopped. Where will I go for change? I do not know how long we have to suffer.”

The inflow of tourists also reduced further adding to the misery of the small traders and businessmen in Puducherry. All the three-star hotels are asking the customers to opt for electronic payment or through credit or debit cards.

“Hotel and restaurant business have been affected. Customers called us and cancelled their bookings stating that they did not have enough cash to travel. When they pay Rs. 2,000, we do not have exact change. We are facing tremendous difficulty now. We hope we will be able to tide over the crisis soon,” Amitva Roy, General Manager, Atithi Hotel, said.

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