The demonetisation strategy of the government seems well in place, despite the questions about its effectiveness or the scratchy plans of its execution. The overnight scrapping of the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes meant long queues outside banks and ATMs. It also meant that you might not have been able to pay off your bills at office canteens, or your washerman; or if you needed cigarettes, God help you. The RBI, to compensate for the ban, introduced a different Rs 500 note and higher denomination currency of Rs 2000. While I am not sufficiently capable of understanding as to what was the point of scrapping Rs 1000 and introducing Rs 2000; it is a matter for a different time.
Let us assume the life of a common office-going man for a while. You have just withdrawn, say 5k before you heard the news about the ban. The banks remain shut on the following two days. You have a normal 9-6 office. So you end up being broke till the weekend. You are living your life of off loans. In this scenario, how does going to the bank and exchanging all your money for a couple of Rs 2000 notes feel? You spend one of them, pay off your loans. What happens next is that you must carry on with your daily activities. You get an auto for office. Assuming of course that you don’t own a car. Even if you do, petrol pumps are the new pubs, so you get late. How do you think you would be able to pay off the driver, the same kind who would never accept a Rs 500 note! How are you expected to buy that cigarette for 13 bucks with a note of Rs 2000?
Many a people, while being in a queue in front of ATMs and banks withdrew 1900 and not 2000 for the fear of having to deal with a high denomination note. The question here is, why a certified bank account holder cannot decide which denominations he or she wishes to have. Is it so difficult to understand that the customer may not directly go mall shopping after standing an hour to get his own hard earned money exchanged? A man who has been living on penny and dimes for days might just wish to pay for grocery. The same shop where you couldn’t use a Rs 500 note unless you bought Rs 300 worth of products. Is the government twisting our hands to make us spend Rs 1500-1600 every time we need to buy a toothpaste?
What is important here is to understand the simple fact that the Rs 2000 note might have been introduced but we are in no condition to use it. And in times of crisis like these, when you have to shut shop every time you visit an ATM while you understand the real struggle behind money earned with “blood and sweat”, even the nicest of your neighbours, your everyday grocer, not even your everyday momo wale hai bhaiya would grant you a change. So until the new Rs 500 notes are in full circulation and running through the blood stream of the country, it is an unwise decision to circulate a high denomination note such as this and add to the already fatigued demonetised Bhartiya Janata.