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First Pay Day after Demonetisation - Where is the Cash? - Outside View by Swapnil Gaur

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First Pay Day after Demonetisation - Where is the Cash?
Dec 1, 2016

After demonetisation, I feel blessed to live in a neighbourhood that has six ATMs - Citibank, IDBI, ICICI, Yes Bank, Kotak, and - the king of all - SBI (though I haven't seen it working more than once).

As I went downstairs to withdraw cash in the morning, I was not surprised to learn that none of them were dispensing cash. However, I was surprised to learn that today is pay day... And if six ATMs of different banks aren't working, there's not enough cash to go around.

Goes without saying, millions of salaried and pensioned employees receive salary in their bank account and they won't be able to withdraw cash.

On my daily commute, I flipped through a news magazine to come across an RBI official's statement that there's a lag of 21 days for printed notes to arrive in markets.

India has only four note presses located in Nagpur, Dewas, Mysore, and Salboni - two of which are on terribly old machines that were installed over 30 years ago.

According to an IANS report, looking at the capacity of printing presses...it will take at least six months to replenish new currency notes.

Now who else thinks that some math should've been done before PM Modi made an announcement that our discomfort should prevail only for 50 days?

'50 din bhaiyon aur beheno...sirf 50 din', I still remember his words that echoed through Shyama Prasad Mukherjee indoor stadium in Goa. And how he 'requested' the audience to give a standing applause to support his decision and 'bless' him.

If the 50 days' calculation was right, the shortage of cash should've reduced by now - we're halfway down the estimated duration.

But has it really?

As the country sees its first pay day twenty-two days after demonetisation, the situation of cash and ATMs remain alarmingly grim.

Today huge masses are expected to flock outside banks and ATMs to withdraw a portion of their salary, and while the lucky ones may get their hands on some, many are supposedly going to return with disappointment.

Four days ago PM Modi envisioned a 'less-cash' society in Mann Ki Baat and said that once we become 'less-cash' society, the goal of cashless society won't be far-fetched. The common man has seemingly endured the hardships of 'less-cash' society for some weeks now, and will continue to do so even on the pay day. A hard-working employee has already sacrificed cash on his salary day.

What happens in the long-run remains to be seen; let's hope this move attains its goal of eradicating black money from our society. But today it's affecting me and you and everyone...and it will continue to do so in the near future.

In what ways and how - get the bigger picture in a free guide authored by Vivek Kaul that throws light on every aspect of demonetisation that you need to know.

Swapnil Gaur is an editor at Common Sense Living - an initiative that brings you straightforward lifestyle and wealth-building ideas.


The views mentioned above are of the author only. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Equitymaster do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader. Please read the detailed Terms of Use of the web site.

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