Small traders continue to bear brunt of demonetisation

New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) Three days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of large currency notes, small traders continued to face a tough time on Friday with barely any customers showing up at their stores, leading many to down their shutters earlier than usual.

Vipul Jain, who runs a computer hardware store at Laxmi Nagar, said his business has been severely affected for the past two days.

“There are hardly any customers these days. So like many others in this market, I closed my shop in the afternoon. But I cannot keep it closed as I have to pay my workers,” Jain told IANS.

He added that one of his workers has to go to his village for a wedding in his family.

“He cannot go there with old currency notes. Both he and I went to the bank after closing down the shop in the afternoon and stood in the queue to exchange old currency notes. We got replacement for only Rs 2,000.”

“What will he do with Rs 2,000. It is okay if one has to sit at home. But for someone who has to travel, it is a big problem. Ab Modiji hi batayenge hum kya karein (Now only Prime Minister Narendra Modi can say what we should do),” he said.

Omkar Sharma, a grocery store owner in Mayur Vihar Phase I market, says that his business has gone down by 80 per cent.

But he still supports the Prime Minister’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.

“Sure there is a major dip in customers. I am earning very little compared to what I used to earn earlier at my shop. But this dip may only last for a week after which, business will be just as it was. But this trouble of one week may do a lot of good for the nation’s economy,” Sharma told IANS.

Pointing at the TV in his shop with a news channel on, he adds: “I was just watching on the news that over the last two days, rupees two lakh crore have been added to the nation’s economy. I am sure there will be much more in the coming days.”

Khalid Malik, who runs an auto spare parts store in Noida, says that his income has fallen drastically in the last couple of days.

“I have made a sale of barely Rs 100. Earlier, my average sale used to be between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000. I really hope that this (demonetisation) does some good and doesn’t just turn out to be a futile exercise.”

“I hope that it also pinches the big corrupt businessmen and politicians just as much as it is pinching small traders like us,” he said.

(Vishav can be reached at vishav@ians.in

–IANS

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