New Delhi: Once a market bustling with customers, Chandni Chowk now appears relatively forlorn with shops having few customers due to a cash squeeze and their owners too facing a money crunch for purchases. Traders said it will take at least two months for them to be able to regain sale volumes due to government’s sudden decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
A trader, who wished not be named, said: “We are failing to understand what the government’s intention behind this move is. We are suffering huge losses, which is going to remain for few more months. It will be difficult for us to do business with less cash flow. We are exasperated. However, we cannot protests against it to avoid any negative repercussions.”
According to the shopkeepers, one of the jewellery shops in the area was raided by the Income Tax department on Friday. “They did not tell us the actual reason for the raid. Everyone is scared. We see no other option than accepting the new regime,” said a merchant, also requesting anonymity.
All ATMs and the banks in the area were crowded since morning to get new currency notes. On other hand, shops in the area had worn deserted look.
Many traders in Chandni Chowk market said that their business was expected to remain dull until adequeate number of currency notes of Rs 100 and Rs 50 are in the circulation.
“It’s consecutive fourth day that we have not done any business. Although customers are getting new notes of Rs 500, and Rs 2000, they are facing problems in buying goods due to shortage of Rs 100, and Rs 50 notes.
“How are we supposed to return Rs 200 if a customer gives us Rs 500 note for a product of Rs 300, if we do not have enough cash?” asked Mohan Agarwal, a saree merchant.
Brijbhan Agarwal, a cloth merchant, said that orders from factories in Ahmedabad and Mumbai were stopped due to dip in the demand. “We hope things are settled down soon. However, the slowdown is the market is expected for at least two months,” he said.
Meanwhile, there were traders, who backed the demonetisation move. Pawan Sharma, a saree merchant, said “We need not worry if we do not have unaccounted money. It is a good move that will benefit us in the long term.”
There were few innovative traders among their gloomy neighbours, who took up to the online payment options to keep their business going.
Sanjay Tondon, a cloth merchant, have posted a big sticker of ‘Paytm’ and online banking payment outside his shop to woo customers without enough cash.
Interestingly, the only shops which claimed to have remained unaffected from the negative effect of demonetisation are famous Parantha shops. Rajat Sharma, of Gangaprasad Parathawale, said: “Initially, there was little problem with change. However, we have not witnessed any fall in the number of customers as of yet.”
First Published | 12 November 2016 11:43 PM