Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Please wait, you are in Queue

It has been a week since the chaos began, when the Government of India ‘demonetized’ currency notes of Rs 500 and 1000 denominations. And the rush is in no hurry to calm down. The majority of the country is still waiting in queues, lines to the bank, lines to the ATMs.  Most of the cash dispensing machines ran out of cash within hours after being stocked, while thousands of ATMs are still not functional. Adding to the customer woes, there have been reports of bank servers facing technical glitches.


The techies of the country have now rushed in to help, creating apps and sites to search for nearby working ATMs. And new age e-cash startups have descended to ‘cash-in’ (pardon the pun) on the serious lack of cash in the economy. And after sleeping for an entire week, both the courts and the government is now discussing the legality of the ban in their respective houses.


Seriously ? They are discussing it only now ?



And in an attempt to bring down the rush, they are going to now implement an indelible ink system, like that in our elections.


Like most things in our country, passing the law was easy. Implementation if totally faulty.


India does still live in her villages. And one would be surprised how many of them still are not digitally connected.  They are the ones most affected by this demonetization. Media reports now that 33 people have died as a direct or indirect result of this demonetization rule.


On the flip side, the gamble  seems to have paid off in the cities, and better towns. Humungous amounts have been collected in bank deposits now, more than the amounts declared during the actual black money declaration window.


Anyway, there is no denying the fact that business has definitely gone down across the country. Everyone from small shops to large multiplexes are seeing lesser transactions. Simply because people have run out of spare cash. Or are too busy withdrawing money from ATMs. Or at least waiting for that in a queue somewhere.


I for one support this initiative, as it will weed out the filthy cash from the hands of hoarders, smugglers and the mafia. But it is disheartening to see the vast majority of honest, law abiding citizens having to face this otherwise unnecessary hardship.


Hope it ends fast. The country needs to get back on its feet.


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