Chennai: People who thronged ration shops and state government run offices were turned back on Wednesday when they produced currencies in denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
“We have been told by branch managers not to accept notes with higher denominations. Though public pleaded with us we had no other option”, said a cooperative department staff wishing not to be named confirming that all the ration shops were told only to collect notes that are valid as per the RBI directions.
“We are the common people finding it difficult to make ends meet. I had a 500 rupee note reserved to buy monthly ration. I came to know about the demonetising of currency last night and wanted to change the note, but the ration shop staff shooed me away,” rued R. Mary, a resident of Periamet. Scrapping of the higher denomination notes has badly affected small traders, who feel let down by the central government. Jagadeeswari, who owns a juice shop at Egmore said that the move to catch 'hoarders' is taking a toll on their lives. “My shop had no customers and I am going home with a meager money. How can I feed my children?” she rued.
People chose restaurants that have debit and credit card system, abandoning the roadside eateries. “It is a bigger hit to the lower economic people, including traders, small merchants and daily labourers. I earned just Rs 300 against the Rs 5000 I earn in a normal day,” said S. Praveen, who owns a coffee shop at Nungambakkam.
Tandegco gives one week extension to pay bills
In view of consumers facing difficulties over the Centre’s decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes, Tangedco has provided one-week extension in time for paying electricity bills for those consumers whose last dates for payment falls between November 9 and 30.
An official release issued by the Tangedco said that since the utility was not among the organisation allowed to accept demonetised notes on humanitarian grounds, Tangedco bills could not be collected in the scrapped denominations from Wednesday.
“Hence keeping in view of the consumer’s difficulties the last dates for payment of EB bills of the LT consumers which fall between November 9 and 30 will be extended by one more week from the respective last dates. For example, the last date for payment falling on November 9 is being extended upto November 16and similarly the last date which falls on Nov 30 is being extended upto December 7, without levy of BPSC, as a special case in this situation,” the release said.
Digital wallets offer huge discounts
Milking the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes to the fullest, digital wallets like Paytm, MobiKwik and FreeCharge on Wednesday offered “exclusive discounts and offers” to their customers asking them to go “cashless”. The digital wallets took to social networking sites and sent individual text messages to its customers informing them of the discounts that they can avail by paying through their debit or credit card.
Paytm, one of the leading digital wallets that allows a user to recharge their mobile phones to DTH to pay utility bills, took the first big step through full-page advertisements on front pages of leading newspapers with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image asking people to go digital. Soon, popular cab aggregator Ola and food apps like Zomato and Faasos followed suit by offering “huge discounts” to those going digital.
“Don’t Panic & Go Cashless! Get your friends on MobiKwik & save them from the panic too! Pay for your groceries, bills, cabs & more at ease!” a tweet by another popular digital wallet MobiKwik said, while its competitor Freecharge tweeted “Great Move! Trash the Cash - Just Freecharge”.
Utoo cabs, a new firm launched by businessmen C. Shivashankaran, sent out text messages to its users informing that their cab drivers would accept cheque payments for now. This message came hours after it said the drivers would accept `500 as payment but “unfortunately will not be able to tender change for the same.”
Faasos announced a “lucrative offer” announcing 50 per cent cash back on orders of Rs 200 made through online, while popular eating joint KFC offered 15 per cent cash back to those pay for their food via Paytm. Grofers, a leading app that sells groceries and food items, advised its customers to go cashless and get 15 per cent cash back on all orders.
Though the offers suited only for those who are tech-savvy and use these digital wallets, the customers very only happy. “I ordered food through Faasos and saved Rs 100. I ordered food worth Rs 200 and paid only Rs 100. Though I was upset that I could not eat out because I had Rs 500 and Rs 1000, this came as a god sent opportunity for me,” Karthick, a marketing executive, said....