Demonetisation: Mumbai's vendors have no change to return for Rs 2000

Updated: Nov 14, 2016, 09:59 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

For Mumbaikars, the elation at being the first to get their hands on the new Rs 2,000 note lasted only as long as they tried to spend it at shops. Most found that no one had the change for the high-value note

Ramakanth Jaiswal, a juice shop owner at Parel rued that he had no change to give
Ramakanth Jaiswal, a juice shop owner at Parel rued that he had no change to give

For Mumbaikars, the elation at being the first to get their hands on the new `2,000 note lasted only as long as they tried to spend it at shops. Most found that no one had the change for the high-value note.

Shreesh Jambgi, a marketing professional from Nariman Point, who got a `2,000 note two days ago, says the note has been worthless so far. “Shopkeepers have refused to accept it. Yesterday, I went to buy groceries worth `200, but the shop owner said he did not have `1,800. Shops at Viviana Mall (Thane), too, refused to accept the note. People are suffering because they don’t have the new notes, but I am suffering despite having them,”

Ramakanth Jaswal, a juice shop owner at Parel, said, “If people buy goods worth `2,000, then we accept such notes. Banks have not yet got the new `500 notes, so giving change is near impossible.”

Chandresh Patel, a businessman at Dahisar, has been struggling even to buy essentials for the past two days. “For me, the note is just a showpiece. I stood in line for three hours for this note, now can’t use it,” said Patel.

Chemists looting patients
Despite the central government extending the exemption for accepting the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, medical shops have been forcing people to buy high value medicines if they don’t have the new currency.

When Rahit Khan (name changed) (36), whose sister is admitted for brain TB at a private hospital in Parel, approached National Chemist opposite KEM to buy medicines worth Rs 150 with an old Rs 500 note, he was told to buy medicines for at least Rs 400.

“I ran from one shop to the other for the medicines before finding this chemist who agreed to take Rs 500, but they told me to buy medicines worth Rs 400. I finally had to buy medicines worth Rs 350. My sister is in critical condition, so I had no time to find another chemist,” said Khan. An employee from one of the chemist shops threatened to call the police on us for speaking to patients outside the shop.

Ashoke Pawar, who went to a chemist to buy tonic worth Rs 150 for his 12-year-old daughter, was turned away saying they did not have change for Rs 500. “I had one Rs 500 note, but, they said they did not have change. This is just their way of making money from needy patients,” he said.

Mid-day Impact
After mid-day reported on Thursday that Breach Candy Hospital wasn’t accepting old `500 and `1,000 notes, they have started accepting them. “We didn’t get an official email or letter from the health ministry, so we were refusing the old notes,” said an official requesting anonymity.

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