Money & Banking

The fallout of demonetising

NS Vageesh Mumbai | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on November 09, 2016

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Rich men can become paupers over night. That sounds like a riches to rags bollywood storyline or a philosophical take from our scriptures. But no. It was just the fallout of demonetising the notes of high value denominations.

Last night's developments caught every one by surprise. Across homes in various cities, people scrambled to ATMs, petrol bunks and even jewellery stores to get rid of notes that would turn worthless in a few hours.

For some, like this writer who was heading to the airport, the first challenge was to gather sufficient small denominations to pay off the cabbie. News had spread so quickly that at 12.15 am there were queues in front of ATMs and petrol bunks. At the airport itself the usual roaring business done by restaurants and shops seemed duller. Foreign exchange counters also seemed to be quieter than normal since customers would not have valid legal tender they could exchange.

On the way home, there were some delays at toll booths since drivers found that they hadn't trousered sufficient low denominations. Queues got longer. For a brief moment, one wondered if one would be stuck at the airport terminal like Tom Hanks in that movie where he finds he is suddenly a man without a country following a coup. One's feelings were similar. How does one get home when a cabbie would not take your old notes. Well, one did get home finally - in a good old bus.

What is next? Our fingers are crossed.

Published on November 09, 2016
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