After an initial surge, roadside vendors have now reduced the usage of e-commerce apps as they are not able to withdraw money from their accounts. Those running paan shops or roadside eateries are now demanding cash payment for small purchases as their own cash has dried up nine days after the demonetisation of Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes.
“We are still using the apps as they have become our only source of income, but the problem is we have run out of cash and cannot buy goods to replenish stock. We managed to buy stock on credit for a while, but now the wholesalers are demanding cash, which is not available with us,” said Ramakant Goswami, a paan shop owner at Sector 110.
Many small businesses have been running only through e-commerce apps, which recorded a rise of 250% in downloads since the demonetisation of old notes.
Mahesh Gupta, a juice shop owner in Sector 78, said that for the past 10 days, fruit and vegetable wholesalers were accepting cheques and even supplied raw material on credit, but now they too are demanding payment in new currency notes to meet their cash requirements.
“In the business, everyone except the farmer buys raw material from somewhere. For the first few days after demonetisation, it was business as usual as we worked on credit or cheques, but now the problem is that somebody in the chain is surviving only on cash and not credit or cheques,” said Gupta.
He said small businessmen are selling products on credit, but only till a limit of Rs500. After that they demand new currency notes from customers.
“Very few customers have managed to withdraw cash from the banks. We are trying our best to keep the business running smoothly, but the cash crunch is hitting us now,” said Gupta.
Meanwhile, residents of Noida and Greater Noida were still seen standing in long queues outside banks, ATMs and post offices on Friday to exchange old notes or to withdraw cash.