The Costs of Demonetisation: Banarasi Weavers Struggle; Persons of Indian Origin Left Out

A daily round-up of the human impact of demonetisation.

Representative image. Credit: PTI

Representative image. Credit: PTI

Banarasi saree weavers struggle

For the struggling saree weavers in Banaras, demonetisation has come as a fatal blow. Decline in business coupled with withdrawal limits have led to a cash crunch and they aren’t able to pay labourers or procure raw materials to run their businesses. “What will my family eat if I use up the little cash I have managed to get to purchase raw materials?” asks weaver Akhlaq Ahmed, 48, who has three daughters. He has stopped his business as he struggles to recover his dues, according to The Hindu.

Indians abroad left in the cold

Indians living abroad – Persons of Indian origin (PIOs) and overseas citizens of India (OCIs) have been left out in the cold with no grace period to exchange their old notes. Having come to India for their holidays and other purposes, PIOs and OCIs have been hit by the Reserve Bank of India following the recent notification that grace period to exchange notes is only for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). PIOs and OCIs, unlike NRIs, do not hold an Indian passport. Mitaben Pandya of Surat, from Maryland, US, had brought Rs 25,000 in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on her trip to Gujarat. “I went to the RBI only to be turned away as I no longer hold an Indian passport. This is not fair,” the Times of India quoted her as saying.

Printing mistakes

After reports surfaced last week of notes of Rs 2,000 being distributed without a photo of Mahatma Gandhi in Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh, Times of India reported on another case of misprinted notes being circulated. Some ATMs in Khargone district released notes of Rs 500 that were blank on one side. Hemant Soni, a resident of Segaon village in Khargone district, said, “only the side with Mahatma Gandhi’s image was printed. The other side was blank.” State Bank of India’s Khargone currency chest in-charge PS Panwar said, “around four misprinted currency notes with one side blank were received and replaced. We tried to ensure that the customers didn’t face any trouble.” The case was forwarded to the RBI.