It has been three weeks since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes but Namita Arora, a 35-year-old multinational corporation executive, has not waited in a queue outside a bank or an ATM since November 8.
She only has a scrapped Rs 500 note in her wallet besides three debit/credit cards, and Namita plans to spend it at a petrol pump on Tuesday night.
“I hardly pay in cash and most of the payment is done using cards. When demonetisation was announced, it did not bother me as I had around four Rs 500 notes that are being accepted at fuel pumps,” Namita, who was shopping at Galleria Market in DLF Phase 4, said.
She, however, said she was worried about paying laundry and grocery bills, and her domestic help. But, as people are increasingly shifting to online payments or opening bank accounts, Namita said she is relaxed about swiping her cards.
She is not the only one who has not been hit hard by the withdrawal of some currency. A number of residents, especially from upscale societies, said their lives continue to be normal.
Manish Raheja, a 22-year-old businessman, said, “My father has always told his employees to open bank accounts and we have been encouraged to used digital payment options. Everyone at home has cards or use e-wallets.”
Raheja said his family orders daily necessities from online portals that accept card payments. He said his domestic help is also now on e-wallet portal Paytm.
Some residents said they switched to cashless payment options after failing to get new notes. The allotment of cash to bank branches in Gurgaon has been low because of which a number of account holders were unable to withdraw cash from banks or ATMs.
Aarti Narang, a 42-year-old homemaker, said, “Earlier, my husband used to withdraw money from the bank and hand it over to me to manage household expenses. But, soon after demonetisation was announced, he went to ATMs thrice but returned empty handed as the cash was exhausted by the time his turn came. Our children then introduced me to Paytm and taught me how to use it. Now, I am managing the expenses through e-wallets.”
“I even taught my help and gardener how to use the e-wallet option,” she said.