Demonetization: Markets hit all time low in Shillong

ohmeghalaya.com reports on demonetization effect in Shillong

SHILLONG, NOV 20: Unlike India’s first demonetization in 1978 under Prime Minister Moraji Desai, the 2016 fight against black money by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by banning Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes have hit people across wide social spectrum plunging the market to an all-time low.

Like in other parts of the country, Meghalaya’s economy is now reeling under the weight of demonetization with shops, shopping malls and markets experiencing a sharp decline in footfalls as consumers’ purchasing powers have taken a downward trajectory.

The almost deserted shops across the business hub of the city Khyndailad-Police Bazaar- in what is supposed to be a peak season with Christmas just around the corner only means that business will be real bad this year. Big and smaller traders are bracing for the worst as nobody is certain of tomorrow.

For a state that is still trying to wrestle the economic consequences of the coal ban, the decision of Prime Minister Modi demonetization could not have come at the worst of time.

Pawan Bajoria, a prominent city business man and proprietor of Bhajanlal that deals in consumers electronic goods, said, “ With coal ban, business had already declined by about 20-30 percent and the demonetization will further cut into people purchasing power.” He informed business as of Saturday was down by about 60 percent.

However most of the businessmen spoken too had nothing adverse to say against Prime Minister Modi’s fight against corruption by banning the Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes. Though they felt that the intention is laudable but were of the opinion that the preparation for its implementation was shabby.

Uncle’s shop owner Harish Mordani who was witnessed to late Prime Minister Moraji Desai demonetization said comparison and impact of the 1978 and 2016 demonetisation cannot be made because India’s first demonetization affected only a selected few while the second one has had cascading effect on the entire nation.

Buttressing his argument Mordani said, “You see in 1978 Prime Minister Moraji Desai banned the Rs 1000, Rs 5000 and Rs 10, 000 notes which very few had. The poor remain unaffected.” But, he added, the ban on Rs 1000 and Rs 500 have affected everybody because even the poor have these two notes.

Mordani, however, felt that this gigantic initiative of Prime Minister Modi to root out black money is noteworthy. But he felt that the intention was not backed with sound planning and implementation. “There should have been more details planning before demonetization”, he concluded.

However not all businesses have been affected by the demonetization. At least that is the impression one gets after chatting with Aiti-Belti Trattoria jadoh stall owner Balawah Suting. This jadoh stall located in the heart of Khyndailad is doing brisk business as usual as one has to wait for his turn to get a seat.

Suting said that sale in his jadoh stall is as usual as customers pores throughout the day. He said, “We are not feeling the pinch of demonetization as we are doing normal business.” He also informed that they don’t have any problem for smaller denomination cash as customers pay them with smaller denomination notes.

If the economy in the urban areas looks bleak right now, the rural areas must be feeling the pinch of demonetization much harder. With very few banks in the rural areas, rural folks are said to be having agonizing times.

Thomas Kyndiah, who is a petty trader, said that in Balat and Ranikor areas there are only UCO and State Bank of India. These two banks are catering to number of nearby villages and people are running short of cash.

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