A tippler in Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu pulled a fast one on employees of a liquor store of the state-run Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (Tasmac) as he slipped in a fake Rs 2000 note and got away.
Local police say that the man used a photocopy of the new Rs 2000 note at Maruthada village near the town. “There was a power cut in the area so staff was unable to see the note properly,” they said. The salesman even returned Rs 1,800 in change to the tricky customer.”
Officials spotted the forgery and alerted the police after the Tasmac manager tried to deposit it in a bank.
This is the second such incident since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation on November 8, and the roll out of new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes.
On Saturday, a vegetable vendor in Karnataka’s Chikkamagalur was reportedly cheated by a customer who also used a photocopy of the new note.
The move against black money has hurt Tasmac, a cash cow in a state which currently faces a deficit of Rs 9,154 crores. Tasmac outlets in many areas have reported sales losses of 15-20% .
Bizarrely, it has also led to a complaint by the Madhu Kudippore Vilippunarvu Sangam, or TN Liquor Consumers Awareness Association which submitted a formal request to the Chief Minister’s office to allow the Tasmacs to accept old notes as they were technically government services.
Though Tamil Nadu is in a comparatively better position than the rest of India with the highest number of ATMs per capita (there are 23,728 registered ATMs according to RBI’s website) it has also been similarly affected by the shortage of cash and new notes.
“Daily wage workers are finding it difficult to come up with exact change for their liquor needs,” said the association’s secretary M Chellapandian. “If government-owned transportation corporations are willing to accept the old currencies during this transition period, why can’t the Tasmacs do the same?”
D Dhanasekaran, general secretary of the Tasmac Employees’ Union, confirmed that all of the state’s 6,195 outlets were given strict instructions to not accept the old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. “Every department has been hit by the currency change,” he told HT. “While sales data isn’t available yet, we believe that these losses will stop in another few days once the new notes are in common circulation.”