It has been a year since the Union government decided to scrap the 500 and 1000 rupee denomination notes from the economy.
The narrative of demonetisation kept shifting from being implemented to eradicate black money, to moving towards a cashless economy. Shivaji Market, Camp is a bustling market for a variety of small business owners trading in perishable goods like fruits, vegetables, poultry, seafood and other groceries.
After the drastic move was announced by the government, vendors took to downloading apps like Paytm and installing point of sales (POS) machines for digital transactions.
Pune365 had reported earlier on the effects of demonetisation. We speak to some of the small businessman to check the lasting impact of this drastic move on their business.
Customers are buying much less than what they were earlier. Even now, the business hasn’t picked up much. When demonetisation was announced, we started transacting through Paytm, but stopped it within a month. It was inefficient, and our money would get stuck. We have a POS machine for the past five months but it only gets swiped at times for big amounts.
Mohtashim Momin, Poultry Shop Owner
When the move was announced, I stood in the bank queues for at least two hours every day, for a whole week. I installed Paytm but stopped using it after a month. I have a PoS but now most of the transactions are in cash. The business has significantly reduced. There is no progress in the market.
I found out about demonetisation from the television. Customers are still very few. I sell coriander, mint, chillies, ginger and garlic. Earlier I would buy 100 kilograms of this to sell. Now, I only buy up to 30 kilograms. When the decision was announced by the government, I accepted the old notes, but I had no change to give to people. I had to stand in the bank queues for at least three to four hours.
Taher Chawala, Shop Owner
Look, it’s the beginning of the month and you can see how quiet the market is. Our business is 30 per cent down. We found out about demonetisation on TV. We never got Paytm. We got a PoS machine, but we returned it to the bank. It was pointless. Most of the transaction is in cash only.
I have been in this market for the past 30 years. I have never seen such poor business happen. My daily earnings are now only up to Rs 200 as opposed to Rs 800 earlier. Customers are spending less and this is affecting us.
Babulal Solanki, Jeweller
We have faced a lot of loss. Many customers came in with old notes which we weren’t accepting. Not many of the customers were willing to swipe either. It is really a dangerous loss. Now with GST implemented, gold is taxed at three per cent. Earlier it was around 1.2 per cent. According to me, all this has finished the economy.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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