Cash crunch hits tourists, traders hard in Kolkata

Kolkata, Nov 9 (IANS) While reactions among the people of Kolkata are mixed to the Narendra Modi government’s decision to demonetise currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination, tourists and traders from various countries seem hard hit by acute cash crisis.

For these foreign nationals visiting Kolkata for travel or trade, the overnight decision came as a shocker as they are now stuck in the city without sufficient cash at hand.

“It is so difficult to do anything or even go back home as no one is accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes,” said a tourist from Nepal.

For the foreign traders, the problem has been compounded since all banks and ATM cubicles are closed on Wednesday. They are unable to draw cash or buy things.

“We come to India for trading purposes. If we get stuck for a day or two for this bank closure, it will be a huge loss for our business. I would request the Indian government to find a solution or be prepared to lose a lot of business,” a cloth merchant from Bangladesh said.

Confused and uncertain, tourists could be seen standing in long queues at foreign currency exchange offices near Sadar Street of the city. They looked unhappy and sore.

“We have no money because the banks are closed and we have only Rs 500 denomination notes. No one is exchanging the money,” said a distraught French couple who came to the city as tourists.