The demonetization move of the Narendra Modi government is expected to adversely affect the business of traders from Odisha and other parts of the country at Bali yatra, which starts tomorrow.
The traders are worried because most of them are in possession of demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
“We did not get adequate time to exchange old notes because we had to leave home to reach the venue on time. We hope the administration will come to our rescue by setting up temporary kiosks of banks for exchange of old notes,” said Suhasini Mandal, 48, an artisan from Bengal.
Mandal’s fears reflect the sentiments of the majority of traders who are planning to set up shop at the Bali yatra ground.
The overall business at Bali yatra ranges from Rs 80 crore to Rs 100 crore every year and it is a major source of livelihood for artisans and members of self-help groups.
“I have brought small denomination notes worth Rs 3,000, but I am not sure whether it will be enough,” said Kishore Patnaik, 45, another trader.
Sub-collector Raghuram Iyar, on the other hand, told efforts were on to protect the interest of the traders at Bali yatra.
“We have discussed the matter and requested senior officials of State Bank of India and UCO Bank to set up ATM and exchange counters at Bali yatra,” said Iyar.
Tehsildar Sanjeebata Ray, however, said more than 1,400 traders had already set up their kiosks and adequate measures were being taken to ensure that they did not face problems while conducting business at Bali yatra.
Usually, a coin vending machine and ATM counters are set up at Bali yatra. However, the district administration has not got any confirmation about setting up exchange counters for traders at the venue this time.
Confusion Prevails in Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar saw serpentine queues at ATMs today.
Though all out efforts were made by the banks to fill up the ATMs with adequate cash, almost all the ATMs went dry within a few hours of opening.
Many ATMs also failed to dispense cash. The Reserve Bank of India has made adequate arrangements to provide quick service to the people. It has also made separate arrangements for old citizens.
However, confusion still prevails over exchanging the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Those who have already exchanged illegal tenders were in for a shock when they turned up at bank counters today to do it for a second time. Bank employees told them that the system would not let them exchange the notes more than once.
An employee of State Bank of India, Vani Vihar branch, said once the identification number was mentioned on the form meant for exchanging old currency notes with new ones, the system did not allow another transaction.
Without any clarification from the government, confusion on the issue continues to persist.
Sandeep Parthasarthy, 29, a software professional who stays at Saheed Nagar, said he was successful in exchanging the notes from two different banks. He said: “I went to the Syndicate Bank at Vani Vihar on November 11 and again to State Bank of India, Vani Vihar, the following day and was able to exchange Rs 8,000 in total.”
However, Narayan Mishra, 54, a state government employee who stays at Nayapalli, said the manager of the Nayapalli branch of the State Bank of India told him that exchanging notes was possible only once a fortnight.
“I came to the Syndicate Bank, Vani Vihar branch, and was disappointed to learn that the old notes could not be exchanged as I had already done it on November 11,” he said, adding his visit to State Bank of India, Vani Vihar branch, was also unsuccessful.
Courtesy: The Telegraph