Mumbai: Paanwala, 'middleman' give change for Rs 500, Rs 1,000 after taking a cut

Updated: Feb 02, 2018, 16:00 IST | Suraj Ojha and Asif Rizvi

mid-day encountered small-time vendors and paanwalas in Bandra, who have started ‘buying’ the notes and offering Rs 300 or Rs 400 in return, after collecting their ‘fee’

Looks like the exchange of the now defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has now turned into a business for some. mid-day encountered small-time vendors and paanwalas in Bandra, who have started ‘buying’ the notes and offering Rs 300 or Rs 400 in return, after collecting their ‘fee’.

Shockingly, people in urgent need of cash are also willing to bargain. However, when the city has been awaiting a flow of lesser denomination currency notes, the source of similar notes with these vendors is a matter of suspicion.

Case 1: The paanwala’s Rs 400 deal
(At Bandra West near Nandi Galli)

Reporter: Bhai, ek packet cigarette chahiye (Brother, I want a pack of cigarettes)

Paanwala: Ye lo... (Here you go)

Reporter: Lekin sirf Rs 500 ka note hai, chutta milega? (But I only have a Rs 500 note, will you give me change for it?)

Paanwala: Bhai abhi chutta nahi hai (Brother, at present no I have no change)

Reporter: Kuch kardo yaar (please do something)

Paanwala: Rs 500 ka Rs 400 milega aur cigarette ka alag se dena padega, chalega kya?
(I will give you Rs 400 in return of the Rs 500 and you will have to pay for the cigarette pack separately, is that ok?)

Reporter: Ok

Once the reporter agreed for the deal, the paanwala, checked the cash with him in the counter and returned Rs 400.

Case 2: The middleman’s bargain
(At Terminus Road, Kherwadi)

A 25-year-old man walked up to the reporters and said he could help them get change.

Man: Kitne ka chahiye? Rs 500 ka ya Rs 1,000 ka ? (You need change for Rs 500 or Rs 1,000?)

Reporter: Rs 500 ka hai to uska, Rs 1,000 ka hai to wo bhi chalega (If you can give change for Rs 500, it would do and if you have a change for Rs 1,000, that works as well)

Man: Subha se 3-4 logo ka madad karaya hai, aapka bhi karata hun lekin 500 ka 300 milega aur mere 20 rupiya chahiye (Since morning, I have helped three to four people. If you want I’ll help you too but for Rs 500 you will get Rs 300 and you will have to give me Rs 20, is that ok?)

Reporter: Ok chalega.. (Ok will do)

Read Story: Mumbai: Note ban a bane for blind beggar, slum dweller

Following an agreement, the man asked the reporter to follow him to a nearby hawker but the hawker was absent. The man asked him to wait for 30 minutes for the cash. The reporter then cancelled the deal and left the spot.

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