With Centre’s decision on Tuesday to make old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes illegal tender, people have been reaching banks and ATMs in large numbers to replace their old currency with the new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes. However, amidst the prevailing shortage of small denomination notes like Rs 100, people are facing extreme difficulty in spending the Rs 2000 notes
“They aren’t giving change because they don’t have much themselves. They are rather asking to spend the Rs 2000 completely or keeping an account of the change for next purchase,” said a buyer in Delhi.
Earlier, there were reports that medical stores, metro train counters and petrol pumps accepting the old notes as per government order but refusing to provide change or offering purchase of lower amount. This is precisely because the higher denomination notes made up of more than 80 per cent of the currency in the country and after the announcement, there has been a massive demand for Rs 100 notes leading to an acute shortage of the currency.
On Saturday, markets wore a desolate look as most of the shops remained closed as cash transaction is the most preferred mode of payment. “At big stores and shopping malls, they are asking people to pay by cards. Even medicine shops have stopped taking old notes,” said another Delhi resident.
Meanwhile, eCommerce websites and other service providers like Uber, Ola also accepted notes of smaller denominations only and asked the users to pay using electronic wallet. Mobile banking services like Paytm and Freecharge witnessed an upsurge in user traffic as more and more people switched to them for making payments for their purchases.
As per government directive, the ATMs became functional on Friday but there were reports of all the cash being withdrawn within hours. Currently, there is a limit of Rs 2000 per day which can be withdrawn by an individual for the ATM.