At Russell Market, a garland of banned notes for PM

Deccan Chronicle.  | Nikhil Gangadhar

Nation, Current Affairs

Many of the 500 traders and shopkeepers kept banned currency notes as souvenirs.

Traders and shopkeepers make a garland of banned currency. (Photo: DC)

Bengaluru: The traders at Russell Market in Shivaji Nagar are gearing up to celebrate the ‘first death anniversary of Indian Economy’, on Wednesday, to mark a year after Prime Minister announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. 

Many of the 500 traders and shopkeepers kept banned currency notes as souvenirs. They have collected these and made a garland, which will be juxtaposed with the PM’s photograph on Wednesday. The banned notes will be sent to the PM’s office in New Delhi through registered post. It comprises Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes of Rs 18,000 face value. They are doing this to show that demonetisation was not only a blunder, but wrecked the lives of small time traders.

Mohammed Idrees Choudhary, general secretary of Russell Market Vegetables and Fruit Merchants’ Association told DC, “Demonetisation has hampered the lives of traders and businessmen in every aspect. The worst hit are the small time vendors who eke out a living by selling perishable items.”

After demonetisation, rurnovers have slumped to slumped to 20 per cent of what they were before, he says.

“Traders at the market are under severe financial strain having borrowed money to keep their businesses afloat and feed their families. The PM had promised that digital transaction and plastic money will come into complete effect, but we can’t afford to run our business through these as they will reduce our profit through numerous taxes implemented during card transactions,” Choudhary added.

The goods and services tax (GST) has also added to their misery. “While we were trying to recover from demonetisation, another bomb was thrown at us resulting in a complete slump in business,” said Choudhary.

Another trader, said on condition of anonymity, “We are daily wage earners as we sell fruits and vegetables. The PM ruined our lives with demonetization and GST. He should realise that only big businessmen and industrialists are benefiting from these steps and not the common man. These policies were implemented to help capitalists, not us.” In a sarcastic vein they said they will always be ‘thankful’ for foolish decisions taken by the PM, which has cost them their livelihood.