Thirty-six-year-old Rajendari sells tea at her kiosk or ‘theli’ on the road opposite the district police office on Hapur Road. She says she has a bank account with a balance of nearly ₹8,000 but it is being exhausted in meeting her family needs as her sales have dipped by 70%-80% since the government demonetised higher value notes.
However, she is still continuing with her shop and makes sure to make as many sales as possible. Her husband also lost his business of polythene bags after the Uttar Pradesh government banned the use of polybags.
“The sales are discouraging. Still, I am selling items to regular customers on credit. They promised to pay after they have more cash in hand. But what if they don’t come back? We have severe issues of money. You are from the media, you should at least appeal to people to buy some small items from shopkeepers like us. It will help us survive,” she said.
Umesh Kumar, who operated a similar kiosk outside the district headquarters has not set up shop for three days. When last spoken to, he said that sales have been affected.
Heena of Ahmedabad, who stays at Hapur Morh in Ghaziabad, said, “We operate shops on pavements and sold old clothes. We get these clothes from households and provide them new utensils. Customers are trying to pay us with old notes but we are not accepting them.They think that we are illiterate and they can easily fool us. However, sales have suffered as people don’t have enough money in hand.”
To help the low-income groups, residents’ welfare associations have also issued appeals to their respective members in areas such as Indirapuram.
“We have urged our RWAs and residents to at least exchange the ₹1,000 or the necessary amount for ₹100 notes with domestic helps, security guards and drivers. Since they work for long hours and may not have bank accounts, they may not get sufficient time to go to banks. In our highrise, we provided ₹100 notes to two guards,” Alok Kumar, president of Arihant Harmony highrise, Indirapuram, said.
In Noida, the demonetisation has also affected the business of malls, multiplexes and pubs during the weekend as the sales dipped by 20%-50%. However, an unprecedented increase was witnessed in online payment, around 50%.
Online transactions and usage of different wallet payment systems have increased exponentially since the demonetisation. Officials of PayTM, an e-commerce service, said that they have registered an unprecedented growth across categories within hours of the Prime Minister’s announcement.
“Since Tuesday evening, over 1 million new users and 15 million existing users have opted for PayTM,” a company statement on Friday revealed.
“Delhi-NCR has one of the highest growth rates across the country with over 20% of all transactions coming from the region. The rate of adoption for new users has doubled, with most offline transactions happening in petrol pumps, local kiranas and auto rickshaws,” the statement read.
Even other wallet systems such as the Ola Money wallet also witnessed an increase in transactions among consumers over the last 12-15 hours. A spokesperson for Ola said that recharge volume has increased 15 times.