Demonetisation fallout: 2 days on, Ludhiana jewellers shut shop

Long queues outside ATMs; banks run out of notes.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | Published:November 12, 2016 3:06 am
Demonetisation, Utility bills, Demonetisation utility bills, household bills, People queue up in front of a bank in Ludhiana. (Express Photo by Gurmeet Singh)

A DAY after the income tax department carried out surveys at popular jewellery shops in Ludhiana to check their sale records, the jewellers decided to down shutters across Ludhiana with a plea that until the new currency fully start circulating in the market, they will prefer to shut their shops. Anand Sikri, president of Ludhiana Jewellers Association, said, “We are being defamed. There are baseless rumours that we sold gold at prices higher than market price and that we are selling gold by accepting old currency. So, we have decided to close down our shops till the new currency fully circulates in the market. When we have no customers, what is the point of opening the shops.”

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He added, “We are ready to sell gold at market price of Rs 33,700 per 10 gm on new currency, debit or credit card, but we found no client today. So, we decided to shut our shops for the time being.”

However, sources claimed that jewellers shops remained open overnight when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made announcement of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and residents had done bulk purchase of gold in the past two days. A number of jewellers are closed since Wednesday. On Friday, the entire Sarafan Bazaar was shut and even the Jeweller Market on Fountain Chowk, Rani Jhansi Road was also shut.

Meanwhile, long queues were seen outside banks even today which were short of cash and were not able to cater to the masses. Though as per written instructions one can encash Rs 10,000 at a time through cheque but Harnek Singh, a resident of Dugri phase 2, said,” We are being given not more than Rs 5,000 as the bank authorities are telling us that they have limited cash.”

At Feroze Gandhi Market, a customer, Minnie, deposited currency worth Rs 15,000 in old denominations, but she didn’t get any cash from Federal Bank as they were running short.

Patients appeal to PM

Meanwhile, patients have appealed to the PM that they should be allowed to get treatment done from hospitals using old currency notes for another week. As the new notes have not fully circulated in the market and hence it was difficult for them to get treatment done in case of emergencies. Dr Iqbal Singh of Iqbal Nursing Home said,”A number of patients are coming with old currency and we have to turn them back… they should be given a week’s time. In cases of deliveries, it has to be done as an emergency.”