Cashless and Clueless that is how I feel about Demonetization.
On Anita’s baiting I am sharing my escape of the Demon-it-i-zation kind.
one late evening Arnab no his rival in CNN was embarrassing his rectal muscles, by screeching his throat off, about 500 and 1000 Rs. going off the circulation beginning next day. Suddenly hash tags appeared and it was a high adrenaline scenario.
To be frank I did wonder what the hysteria was about, for I have travelled to Bombay and back from Goa with Rs.80/ in my pocket and some 1500/- in my account and yes except minor palpitation there was not much of an issue. Yes I agree I live in an ivory tower.
My patients still give me 500/- and I accept it, and will continue to accept it till 25th of December after which I will stop. Each Thursday I trot to the bank to deposit the cash, last Thursday when I did go I realized that the bank was not dispensing cash below 2000/- and the ATM was not working well that becomes problematic, but yesterday at corporation bank in Manipal there was no issue what so ever. The ATM is still not working.
Somewhere this entire operation does not really seem such a great thing first and foremost even though as the claim is made, element of surprise is crucial to the success of this operation, the background preparation should have been adequate.
There are certain apprehensions that do pop up in my space…
Like does this really solve the problem, I have seen super markets give out IOU coupons. Formerly these coupons would be for a rupee or 2 rupee a maximum of 5 Rs denomination, now it is in denomination of 100/- these coupons have popped up over the weekend. Is it not like having an alternate currency, if the alleged sleeper terrorist wants to hand out payments he can always hand out these supermarket coupons?
The Panaji market was silent for a day or two as neither the vendors nor the buyers had the required denomination to trade. Now vegetables are necessary part of the diet, which makes people either buy on credit, or trot to the nearest Reliance Mart… Or any other supermarket and swipe the visa card. I do understand that it is matter of few days of inconvenience, but try telling it to the school where the fees have to be paid, the bankers who come for the instalment the medicine bill that has paid, and again everyone understand but have their own chain of payments to meet.
When I took the cab from the airport, my cabbie was willing to accept a cheque, simply because he knows me for the past 20yrs, and normally I pay him at the end of the month, but this time round he needed cash to buy tyres, he made me give a cheque to MRF showroom. Apparently he was told that he needed visa/MasterCard if he wanted to use a card he had a Rupay card!! People suddenly feel the need for Uber, because Uber payments can be made online.
When we travel by train, we normally pick lunch from either the pantry or the platform vendors, now I order online from food on tracks, and hold on there is no more cash on delivery facility, it now pre-pay, and in come Visa/MasterCard. Fortunately they have just launched irtc-wallet.
It is indeed great to cashless, but do we really have the infrastructure for it? lack of connectivity, lack of cyber security, lack of continuous power supply it does spells trouble people, it is like we are being hurdled into the world of mobiles and Visa/ MasterCard which is not healthy either for our economy or for the environment or for human health!!
Well there people who claimed, challenges for daughter’s wedding well that is a drama that does not really find much support since we should have long past these ugly expensive weddings, that Karan Johar is a brand ambassador of, can someone tell me why payments cannot be made by cheque in these situations? Oh! Yes those allegedly petty cash that is given, does not become so petty suddenly right, well I do not see restaurant waiters quitting their jobs or doing a sloppy job because their tips are threatened.
If we stop hitting the panic button situation is really handle able…
As for black-market handling the really culprits have got away. The Mallya’s the Ambani’s and Adani’s have got off, their loans have been written off. I go to the bank and people want to pick up maximum available 100’s and denomination lower so that they are “Safe” the lack is already created.
at the end of the day between, non-functional ATM, long winding queues, the only winners are the Visa, MasterCard and PayTM guys who collect 1.8% of every transaction.