Traders & consumers feel the pinch on day one

  Morung Express News Dimapur/Kohima/Mokokchung | November 9   People across India were caught off-guard on Tuesday by the startling announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on demonetization of high-value currency notes – Rs 500 and Rs 1000, legally rendering them invalid to curb black money, fake currency and corruption.   “In the past decades, the specter of corruption and black money has grown. It has weakened the effort to remove poverty,” Modi said in his address to the nation inviting the citizens to make the “grand sacrifice” for cleansing the country of “these termites.”   On Wednesday, confusion and panic spread across India as people rushed to petrol pumps, shops to ascertain whether the currencies were still accepted. The scenario was not different in Nagaland.   Traders, customer in the same loop “I refused service to hordes of customers as they were carrying either Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes because I had already run out change even for my own use,” exclaimed a shopkeeper in a busy intersection in Dimapur.   While chemists were exempted for 72 hours, a pharmacist said he declined most of his customer. “Unless it is live saving drugs or emergency, I refuse most of purchases, as I do not have spare changes,” he added.   There were condominium in several petrol pumps as many rushed to fill up their vehicles with fuel solely with the intention of getting changes in small denomination. As a result, many petrol stations shut down business by noon. Many shops in the busy New Market area also chose not to open their shops due to the news on the demonetization of currencies while many downed their shutters after they ran out of smaller changes.  DCCI official could not be contacted for comments despite several attempts.   The state capital Kohima witnessed a deserted look on Wednesday and remarkably, there was less traffic jam. Kenei, a shopkeeper selling garments claimed that his shop had incurred huge loss in business with hardly any customers.  According to another shop owner, the news has had negative impact on businesses.   Banks sensitized to handle situation There were also apprehensions from the banking sector. “Our main worry is on the availability of the 100 rupees denomination at our disposal,” said a top SBI official, speaking on condition of anonymity since he was not authorized to talk with the media. He expected everything to run smoothly if there is no huge rush on November 10, Thursday. “But we can’t say anything as of now. Everything, we will know tomorrow. I would also like to inform the public that they can also approach the other banks for the exchange,” stated the SBI official.   He also informed that that the SBI officials and employees have been sensitized on the impending work at hand, particularly on how to take care of the clients and handle the situation in an efficient manner. He further informed that the SBI banks would be opening two extra counters to deal with the customers who come for the currency exchange.   With the onset of wedding season, in Mokokchung, sympathies were running high for those couples who would be getting married in the intervening days, as the currency crunch would definitely cause severe inconveniencies.   Banks to remain open on Saturday, Sunday New Delhi (IANS): The government said on Wednesday that banks will remain open on the coming weekend for convenience of people following its decision to demonetise currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination. “For public convenience, banks will remain open on coming Saturday and Sunday,” Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said in a tweet.

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