Cash crunch continues in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 13 (IANS) The cash crunch continued at banks and ATMs across Kerala on Tuesday even a month after Rs 500 and 1,000 notes were demonetised, officials said.

The business sector in Kerala, mainly the small ones, is facing the heat following the central government’s demonetisation move.

A heated exchange of words between people and banking officials was witnessed in Tuesday in Kannur district after the bank put up a ‘no cash’ board outside their branch.

There were long queues on Tuesday as banks opened after a three-day holiday break.

Long queues were also seen outside banks in Malappuram district as people started queuing up since the early hours of Tuesday.

“Those who announced this demonetisation are not facing any issue but we — the ordinary people, are waiting in queues. I came around 2 a.m.,” said a lady waiting in front of a bank in Malappuram district.

Various banks that have currency chest facility in Malappuram district, which requires around Rs 200 crore every week, received just Rs 80 crore last week which created problem for the cash-starved people.

Kerala Excise Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan said there was a revenue fall of Rs 143 crore on account of drop in sales of liquor and beer for the month of November, compared to the previous months.

The real estate sector has also been hit badly.

“I have done no business at all after November 8 and even if I get one, it’s a nightmare to get stamp papers also. I don’t know what’s in store,” said a document writer in Kottayam.

A scrap dealer in Thiruvananthapuram said things are very bleak.

“I have not been getting any money for the supplies that I have made in the past three weeks. I am now facing the crunch as if I don’t take the scrap from people,they will go somewhere else,” lamented Kuppuswamy.

“My son works as an electrician and he has had no job for the past two weeks. But we all want money for our daily needs, so he is going to work as a casual labourer,” said Sukumaran, a 70-year-old labourer.

–IANS

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