Almost three weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonetised Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes, salary day is here and people are coming up with ways to pay their employees.
Some residents have saved money to pay drivers and domestic helps, while others are resorting to cheque payments or barter.
Monomita Chakrawarthy, a resident of Vasant Kunj, said that her house help has agreed to take a part of November’s salary by cheque. The service of the maid cost Rs7,000 a month, which would mean standing in the ATM queue twice for several hours, because of the cap on withdrawals.
“My maid has a bank account and paying a portion of her salary by cheque will be convenient for her and me. Instead of delaying the payment, and waiting for the situation to get normal, we agreed that I will give her a cheque in her name and she can get it deposited in her account according to her convenience,” Chakrawarthy said.
She said because of a dire need for cash, her maid did demand some liquid cash. She will pay Rs2,000 in cash and the remaining by cheque.
Some others have offered to buy household items for their help, instead of paying cash this month.
Sunita Srivastava, a 36-year-old housewife living in Lajpat Nagar, uses her maid’s services only to wash utensils twice daily. To pay her salary, which is Rs500, Srivastava has offered to buy her groceries instead.
“Since it is a small amount, I will buy her the monthly groceries of the same amount and give her the bill as well. She understood that everyone is facing a cash crunch and agreed to my proposal. Many people in the neighbourhood are doing it,” she said.
Some have also truly fulfilled their duty as employers. Suneedhi Parashar, a housewife who lives in Jangpura, said that she has been making card payments wherever she can to save up the cash to pay her maid and driver.
“We can live on plastic money, but these people rely on what they get by the end of the month. I did not even feel like giving excuses,” she said.
Her driver has been employed with the family for over a decade now and her maid too has been with them for at least five years. The total salaries they are paid is around Rs20, 000.
Though most are amicably dealing with the cash crunch, there are some who are also looking at the pay day as an opportunity to get rid of the old notes.
“I have three Rs500 notes and I gave them to my maid today. She is young and can get it exchanged in the bank. My husband and I do not have the strength to stand in the queue,” said a 59-year-old resident of Lajpat Nagar-IV, who did not wish to be named.