Parmatma Prasad, a resident of Bihar, who works in a welding unit in Manesar has not received his November salary. Though his employer assured him that the money will be transferred to his account, he is worried about getting cash in hand.
Prasad is one of the thousands who has moved away from home to find employment. Many have cash in their account but are unable to spend it, while others are yet to open a bank account.
“What good is the salary when I am not able to withdraw cash from my own account? For the last three days, I have been standing in the queue waiting to get money,” Prasad, who depends on cash for day-to-day transactions, said.
With each day, resentment among industrial workers and office goers is rising as they are unable to pay rent, buy groceries or send money to their family in their hometown.
“There are workers in Manesar who are spending nights outside the bank branch and ATMs to get cash. Many go to banks at 4am as they are desperate to get cash, but the situation is not improving,” Manoj Tyagi, secretary of IMT Manesar Industrial Association, said.
Due to the cash crunch, many workers are returning home, which is likely to cause a labour shortage soon, industry sources said. They also said that industrial production could be majorly impacted if the situation does not improve by next month.
“My brother works in Udyog Vihar and has been paid only half the salary in cash, which is not enough to subsist. I am going to the bank branch in Sector 22 daily, but with no result,” Ravi Kumar Pasi of Kanpur said.
He said that his parents in the village are waiting for money as there is a marriage in the family, and it is getting tougher to get credit.
A major problem for workers is that they are unable to withdraw money despite spending the entire day outside banks, and are also missing work for this.
The contractors, majority of whom pay workers in cash, are also coming up with ingenious ways to manage the situation. “I have paid some workers half the salary in cash, others by cheque and asked some of them to wait,” Sunil, a contractor, said.
Not only workers in the unorganised sector but even those working in government agencies are facing difficulties. Huda workers on Monday carried out a protest outside OBC branch on Saturday for failing to deliver cash. “There is no cash in the branch. How will we survive if banks don’t give cash soon?” Ram Prasad, a Huda employee, said.
A majority of those standing in queues, who earlier supported the demonetisation move enthusiastically are now turning sceptics.