Residents are suffering most due to the demonetization of ₹1,000 and ₹500 notes as commercial establishments stopped accepting notes of the two denominations. Traders said their business was hit due to the move.
Notices stating that the ₹1,000 and ₹500 notes will not be accepted have been put up at grocery stores, fruit and vegetable vends, kiosks selling cigarettes and liquor vends across the city.
Ramesh Gupta, a trader in Mamura, said, “We are not accepting ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes. I refused to sell grocery to over half the customers who came in between 8am and 2pm. I am supplying items on credit to my regular customers.”
Eateries also refused to serve food to the customers paying in the two denominations.
Shiv Chauhan of Essen Foods, a multi-cuisine restaurant in Sector 66, said, “We are sorry. We are not accepting ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes.”
Liquor vends selling Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) registered a 70%-80% dip in sales on Wednesday. “We accepted higher denomination notes on Tuesday night even after PM’s announcement. However, we are not accepting these notes anymore. The number of customers fell by more than half that on a regular day. Many went back empty-handed as we refused to accept notes of higher denominations,” Kuldeep Singh, a vendor at Sector 22, said.
Those working for daily wages, such as masons, carpenters, painters and loaders, are suffering due to the move.
Mohd Hanif, a ‘beldar’ (helper) at Labour Chowk, Sector 58, said he and eight of his co-workers refused an assignment at an under-construction building as the contractor was paying them in ₹500 notes. “Though the wages of a beldar are ₹350 per day, the contractor gives the amount collectively to one of us. We returned without any work for the day,” he said.
Those committing traffic violations had a harrowing time as the Noida traffic police also stopped accepting the higher denomination notes.
Prabal Pratap Singh, the superintendent of police (Traffic), Gautam Budh Nagar, said, “We are only accepting notes of ₹100 or lesser denomination against fines. Those who are unable to pay on the spot may retrieve their documents later from the court.”
Jewellers said their business was the worst hit due to lack of ₹100 currency notes in circulation.
“Jewellery is costly and we heavily relied on ₹1,000 and ₹500 notes. There were no customers today. We hope that the market recovers in two-three days and buyers return. We will review the situation if it (poor sales) continues. There was never such a dip, even during the hike in rates of gold and silver,” SK Jain, district president, UP Udyog Vyapar Mandal, said.
Residents said that the move could have been timed better. “This is an industrial city with lakhs employed in factories. Their pay day is on the seventh of every month. Those who had withdrawn money from ATMs have ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes. Most of them are unable to buy anything as the notes were taken out of circulation from the evening of the eighth,” Raj Kumar, a grocer at Khora, said.
While there is optimism that the situation is a temporary one, traders are expecting a chaotic situation in getting the notes replaced.
Subodh Mittal, a trader at Sector 12 market, said,“Life will be hard till all the ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes are taken out of circulation and are replaced by new currency notes. Very few will opt for ₹2,000 notes as it will not be easily for petty traders to return the change. That means the government will have to pump in at least thrice the existing number of ₹500 notes that were in circulation to strike a balance.”