ANGADIAS, the informal sector of couriers who run cash transit networks across the country, have decided to shut shop till at least November 30, after a token opening Monday at the end of their Diwali vacation. Angadias run their business on trust, couriering cash, jewellery and valuables through a network of people. With the demonetisation of high-value notes stalling business, most of them have extended their usual 15-day Diwali break.
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“I have been ordered to close the branch after completing the puja on muhurat. I have not been informed by my employer when to reopen,” said an employee at Patel Somabhai Ramdas & Co at Navrangpura, Ahmedabad.
An employee of another angadia service said, “Because the markets are down all over, we will remain closed till the end of this month. This is first time we have been closed for such a long time. Clients and buyers are not accepting the old currency. Until the new currency gets wide enough circulation, business will be down.”
At Amrutbhai Kantilal & Co’s CG Road branch, the person in-charge person said they have turned down transactions and orders. “We are open today for muhurat after Diwali and will leave once the owner calls to order us to shut down. It will remain closed at least till November 30.”
Marchipo in Kalupur area, the hub of the angadia business, looked uncharacteristically deserted. “The Diwali vacation is extended because of the liquidity crisis in the mar”et,” said an angadia courier. “What can we as mediators do when neither party is transacting in old currency?”
Asked how much loss they estimate to their business, an employee said, “Losses are certain but we accept it for betterment of the country. Everyone is affected, so are we.”