MPs of various parties tell The Indian Express how they are coping with the cash crunch
Sitaram Yechury, CPM
‘Long line, we don’t have the heart to get cash’
HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES: “There is a cash crunch. But because of a certain degree of credibility, people are giving us things on credit.”
BANK/ATM EXPERIENCE: “Just look at the line, even at the bank in Parliament. Though you are legally entitled to withdraw Rs 24,000, we don’t have the heart to go and get currency from there… People say let us move out as an MP has come but we don’t feel like making them do that…
“My children visited an ATM, my wife visited… There has been a wait of not less than three hours with either my children or my wife and even then they don’t get cash.”
FEEDBACK: “Agonies are mounting. You can’t get cash for even essential things like medicines… What is the meaning of all this, that is what people are asking.”
Maneka Gandhi, WCD Minister
‘Training ministry staff to go cashless’
HOUESHOLD EXPENSES: “I haven’t faced issues. I have had a very conservative lifestyle… We went and spent it [old notes] in Kendriya Bhandaar on buying rations.”
At a seminar to encourage her ministry team to use Unified Payment Interface, Maneka said: “Ours is first ministry to teach everyone how to use the UPI. We are training everyone from peons, drivers to every single officer on how to go for different methods of cashless delivery. We decided that we should first change matters in our own ministry and only then change the world.”
BANK/ATM EXPERIENCE: Hasn’t visited, according to sources close to her.
FEEDBACK: Did not comment.
Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Trinamool Congress
‘Rs 2,000 is of no use for milk and bread’
HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES: “Anything you buy, you have to calculate if you have the change. We were used to dealing with Rs 500 notes, now with Rs 2,000 you don’t know if you will get the cash.”
BANK/ATM EXPERIENCE: “In Parliament, when I went to the bank for the first time, there were only Rs 2,000 notes. Some of us went and told the Speaker Rs 2,000 is of no use, we can’t send a person out with that to buy milk and bread. On the third attempt I got Rs 100s.”
FEEDBACK: “Everybody is harassed… My mother was trying to buy petrol, no petrol pump would give change for Rs 2,000. My sister’s driver quit because she couldn’t pay him… I couldn’t hire people to reap paddy, I got my domestic help to do it.”
Partap Singh Bajwa, Congress
‘The fizz has gone out of Punjabi weddings’
HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES: “My wife has to buy grocery for our Chandigarh and Delhi homes. She said nobody is accepting old notes. We had to request our grocer in Chandigarh, providing us for 20 years, to accept old notes which we have promised to exchange in some time.”
BANK/ATM EXPERIENCE: “I have visited the Parliament branch… The queue was not long… I have withdrawn Rs 24,000. I have a company that can take out Rs 50,000, we are doing that.”
FEEDBACK: “Everyone big or small has staff, drivers, cooks, gardeners… Paying them is the biggest problem now… Farmers are finding it hard, commission agents don’t have cash, they need seeds, fertiliser… With Rs 2½ lakh no Punjabi wedding can be completed. Not all weddings have the fizz that Punjabi weddings used to have.