Following a suggestion by the district administration and to meet the needs of their workers, factory owners in different areas distributed nearly 500 grocery coupons on Tuesday for workers to buy household essentials in the face of lack of cash. Factory owners usually pay their workers in cash by the seventh of every month, but like everyone else, they too are facing a cash crunch following demonetisation.
These industrialists have identified grocery shops in different areas whose shop owners have agreed to take payments later for products bought through these coupons. Workers can purchase daily-use items with these coupons that bear the names of their employers’ factories and amount details. The value of items purchased through these coupons will later be deducted from the salary of the workers.
There are over 8,000 small, medium and big factories in Gautam Budh Nagar with over one and a half lakh employees who have been drawing salaries in cash till now. While their dependence on cash transactions has left them stranded in these times, their employers are also facing difficulties in paying salaries as they face withdrawal limits on their savings and current accounts.
Bharat Bagga, who owns a garment factory at Sector 2, said, “I have distributed nearly 25 grocery coupons of Rs500 each. It is essential to retain employees and help them as they wait for salaries to purchase grocery items.”
The coupons being distributed range from Rs500 to Rs1,800.
Sudhir Srivastava, vice-president, Noida entrepreneurs’ association (NEA), said, “Some NEA members distributed 150 grocery coupons on Tuesday. In the next three days, our members will try to distribute the maximum number of coupons. Employees can purchase all essential items such as rice, flour, sugar, oil, spice, dal and salt with these coupons.”
District magistrate NP Singh had asked industrialists a few days ago to assist their workers with grocery coupons.
Noida Industries Welfare Association (Niwa), which has little less than 300 members, too distributed nearly 350 coupons ranging from Rs1,500 to Rs1,800 in value.
“For companies, keeping their employees happy and retaining them is a big challenge as demonetisation has created massive resentment among lower-paid workers who are going through a difficult time. Their worry has badly affected our business as well,” said Rajesh Jain, general secretary, Niwa.
Meanwhile, banks have geared up to meet the massive withdrawal requirement expected over the next three days after salary distribution begins on Wednesday wherever possible.
“We have arranged additional cash, and arranged extra counters and manpower to control crowds from Wednesday onwards,” said AK Singh, lead bank manager Gautam Budh Nagar.