Since demonetisation of high value currency notes kicked in on November 8, the nation is divided over whether its benefits, both in the short and long term. The cash crunch has hit several industries, including the diamond sector in Surat, Gujarat. This industry which employs lakhs of people has been unable to provide jobs due to the ongoing liquidity crunch. Some are even describing it as an unending Diwali vacation.
Small diamond units in the city are unable to operate without cash in hand. Paresh Babariya, a worker, said, “The money which I had before Diwali is all exhausted now. The decision taken by Modi ji has had an adverse impact on Surat’s diamond industry which is now facing a major crisis.”
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Another worker, Shyamji Thummar, strongly criticised Prime Minister Modi. He said, “We have done no business for the last three months. He said he is going to remove poverty, so why does he not wear a dhoti like Gandhiji instead of sporting a Rs. 7 crore suit?”
Some people said they were yet to familiarise themselves with the mode of digital payment and cashless transactions, as most in the diamond business are illiterate. Some even went to the extent of raising slogans against the Prime Minister chanting out loud, “Modi, haye haye.”
Whatever be the current situation, overall people seem to repose faith in the government as it has ensured that this move is equal to ‘short-term pain, long-term gain.”