Hyderabad: Customers and merchants are suffering due to the inadequate availability of currency notes of smaller denominations. Though the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) released new Rs 50 and Rs 200 notes on August 25, ten months after demonetisation, customers with current accounts have been unable to get their hands on these notes.
An official source from the RBI said that though there were insufficient numbers of Rs 50 and Rs 200 notes in circulation in August and September, the RBI had been supplying banks with notes as per their requirements since October. “There are no issues regarding the availability of notes. We are even supplying them to banks in tier-2 and tier-3 cities,” the source said.
A cashier from a prominent bank on Abids Road said that some bank officials were diverting notes to major account-holders. “Since November 1, we have been having sufficient notes of Rs 50 and Rs 200 denominations. Every bank has at least five major customers, including the owners of petrol bunks, jewellery merchants, electronic, electric, and supermarkets. As these customers make large deposits every day, bank managers give them more importance and issue notes of smaller denominations to them. Common customers only get Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes,” he said.
He added that the RBI needed to increase the supply of Rs 10, Rs 20 and Rs 100 notes. “Because the RBI is not concentrating on printing Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20 and Rs 100 notes, even banks don’t have change. We are forced to accept and issue cut and fluffy currency of these denominations,” he said.
Jagdish Agarwal, the owner of an electronic shop in the city, said the RBI and banks were the only sources of change and notes of smaller denominations.
“Earlier, the RBI used to provide as much change as we wanted. But then it imposed the condition that a person could receive only up to Rs 5,000 in change per week. The RBI is recording Aadhaar details while issuing notes of smaller denominations. This is putting pressure on bankers to provide notes of smaller denominations to big merchants,” he said.
A. Acchaiah, a vegetable vendor, said that a majority of customers were asking for vegetable prices to be in round figures because of the lack of change. “We have star-ted selling vegetables in terms of value, instead of weight, since electronic weighing machines have this facility. There are rumours that Rs 10 coins are not valid anymore, because of which a majority of customers refuse to accept them.” They ask for curry leaves or green chillies of the same value instead,” he said....