Voice Of The People

Siddharth Zarabi, Executive editor BTVI on Demonetization

Pradip Bhandari, the Founder of Jan Ki Baat, conversed with the Executive Director of BTVI, Siddharth Zarabi to straighten out a few facts about Demonetization. Mr Zarabi acknowledged the panicked state the nation was in and said that it was unfortunate as well as unwarranted. Anyone who has a proof of their income has nothing to fear; if the ?500 and ?1000 notes in their possession are earned legally then there is no reason for them to panic. Demonetization is a bane for all those who have wads of unaccounted cash with them. As the PM assured us in his speech, newly minted currency would be introduced for people to exchange their old one with as well as for withdrawal purposes. These new notes would have better security features. Demonetization’s unfolding, would hasten two necessary shifts conducive to the curbing of black money: the new 2000 rupee note would, indirectly, ensure that people start dealing through banking channels. This, in return, would initiate another shift, from a cash-dependant, cash-surplus economy to a cashless one. Mr Zarabi firmly emphasized that only those that function unlawfully outside the organized economy will bear the brunt of demonetization. He also went onto clarify a few confusion regarding demonetization: due to banks being closed on 9th November and a very, minority indulging in usage of digital modes of payment, there would arise a difficulty during economic transactions. Paying for bus/metro tickets, for cabs, for food- activities that are generally cash-based, would take a backseat. Tourists, especially, or those who’ve made travelling plans, would face similar problems: Fresh smaller denomination notes, ?100, must be actively supplied by the banks and ATMs. The temporary liquidity crunch can be tolerated for the ‘larger good’, Mr Zarabi claims. Property prices are already 30-40% lower than they were 3 years ago, and now psot-demonetization, they would further decline. This is a good sign for the consumer who was victimized by the highly-inflated prices. The sun, as Mr Zarabi says, has officially set for the ?1000 note. Possibly, ?500, would be the highest-value currency India would have, setting framework for a stable economic structure.

The PM of India, Narendra Modi, announced on the 8th of November, his government’s decision to demonetize the higher-denomination currency. The old ?500 and ?1000 notes were banned throughout India from morning of 9th November, with the citizens being allowed to either deposit their old notes in banks or get them exchanged, until the new ?500 and ?2000 notes come out. Such a move intended to renew the economic market place and rid the country of the black money it had accumulated till date.

Exchange of old currency, for the public, has been extended to March 2017. The government should keep alive the availability of the ?100 notes for genuine, urgent needs of the citizens for daily bills. The question, therefore, is and should be- How soon will the banks be able to enhance the supply for ?100 notes?


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