The government’s decision to pull Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes out of circulation has left those with unaccounted-for cash looking for desperate ways to convert their money into white. Here are some of the tricks they have resorted to:
Full payment in advance
The wedding season is on. Where you need to pay a fraction of the bill in advance for the marriage functions, some customers are making full payments in advance. An owner of a marriage palace in Zirakpur on the condition of anonymity said, “Most of the customers are ready to pay heavy and are not doing bargaining which is unusual. People have paid in advance even for the marriages scheduled in January and February”.
‘Please adjust our money’
“Can we deposit Rs 2.5 lakh in your bank account?” This would sound familiar to many residents as this is what many people are doing. They are approaching friends, neighbours or whosover they can with this request, after the government’s announcement that deposits over Rs 2.5 lakh would be under the scanner. “ I got a call from the parents of my son’s classmate if I could get Rs 2.5 lakh deposited in my account,” said Niharika Jain. The response varies from person to person. Those who know it can invite taxman at their doorstep excuse themselves but some others are being nice enough. There are some others who say they will do it for a price.
All cash, no cheques
A marriage palace owner said while they are accepting cheques, people are insisting on cash payments. “We are facing the heat but are left with no option but to accept the cash as our business has already suffered a lot,” he said.
Cash in staff account
Some of the companies have asked their employees to provide their account numbers so that the management can transfer its money into their (employees’) accounts. “We have been asked to give an undertaking before the amount is transferred to our account that we will be paying them back,” said Rahul working in a private company.
Gold the best bet
Gold has been the first choice of those who have hordes of money with them. Some have bought 10 grams for Rs 50,000 and they say that they don’t even know whether they have made a wise investment. Many jewellery shops haven’t opened since tax sleuths landed at jewellery shops across the country.
Cash at 70% less
There are reports that some people are exchanging their Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes with currency notes of lower denomination at a heavy price. Some, it is learnt, are paying Rs 100,000 and getting somewhere between Rs 70,000 and Rs 80,000 in return.
Discounts at salons
Some salons in the city are offering hefty discounts and offering schemes to customers even inviting 500, 1000 currency notes. Varun Prashar of Sector 4 Panchkula said, “I went for a hair cut in Sector 17 where I was offered various schemes. I was told that they are fine with Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes if I avail their offers.”