On Wednesday, many people rushed to Old Delhi to solve the currency crisis, only to be stunned. On any given day, torn and damaged currency notes can be exchanged for new notes in the bylanes of Old Delhi by paying a small amount to vendors. But on Wednesday, they had different plans.
“We are giving Rs 300 for a Rs 500 note and Rs 600 for a Rs 1,000 note,” said a vendor outside Fatehpuri Masjid.
Another offered to buy Rs 20,000 for Rs 13,000.
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“The notes are garbage for you now, I’m giving you a deal so why are you fighting?” a vendor told a customer.
Another said the deal was “only for small amounts” because “people need it”. “If you are not happy with my rates, please go to the bank,” he said.
But, despite the steep charges, buyers took the deals. “I came here for two days from Ranchi with about Rs 10,000 in hand. Now the hotel is refusing to clear my bills till I get Rs 100 notes. I’ve got Rs 2,000 exchanged for Rs 1,300,” said Krishna Kumar Agrawal.
“I have been surveying the market for the last one hour. They’re mostly offering Rs 300 or Rs 350 for Rs 500 but I finally got Rs 470 for one Rs 500 note from a man who wanted to help me out,” said Sharad Rajput, a businessman from south Delhi.
“I know these deals happen here, so I came specifically hoping to get a good deal,” said Rajput, who finally decided to get “only a small amount” exchanged.