Rs 500, Rs 1,000 note ban: Problems will persist, but keep the pressure on the banks

Several people have sent this so-called viral message.

Decision was not sudden... It merely started with bank account for all. Then linked bank accounts with Aadhar... Then brought disclosure of bank account, passport and Aadhar in income tax return... Add to it the various data mining and collection tools in the hands of the income tax department... Then the income disclosure scheme... And this masterstroke... Truly a systematic change in the last 2 years!!! Timing is also key — 8 pm announcement means no possibility to make last moment transaction at jewellers' shop or any impact on share market. It hit the satta bazaar, who are betting thousands of crores on the US elections results today. The results will be out by 5 am, whereas the currency notes will be worthless from 12 am tonight... That's okay, be at home. Don't worry, eat what you have, travel as you can, ask for lift if you don't have change.

Don't worry. This is a drastic change, it's for the good.

Rs 500, Rs 1,000 note ban: Problems will persist, but keep the pressure on the banks

Representational image. AFP

At the same time I read an article that this was mere window dressing. That only the lower middle class would be hassled and the black money brigade was now hi tech and all of India’s black money was in gold, liquid cash abroad in benami accounts and offshore and cleaned by middlemen. Consequently, this was a mere flea bite in the attack on corruption.

The argument was that the old bundles of notes lying in the cupboard or safe was more a Bollywood concept and no longer valid.

It made sense for a while.

But old habits die hard. While Opposition parties might also bring to bear the ‘pooh pooh’ accusations, common sense suggests that thousands of Indians with black money do keep the currency exactly stored away in packets of notes. There is a whole new rich society of 'small' businessmen, dealers, wheelers, real estate brokers and their allied services, third party operators, launderers, big and small, those whose earnings are filtered through organised crime, not to mention an army of businessmen, moneylenders, the underground betters and bookies, the freshly minted rural rich, the seths, the Maalliks, the Munims, the whatevers who deal in cash and are fat and sleek and all of them still hide their loot under the bed.

Everyone is not hi-tech.

Yes indeed, there will be a few days of problems. But why not at least give the effort a chance. Just because you do not belong to the Modi party does not mean everything he does is wrong. If unearthing this filthy lucre can reduce the parallel economy and close down conduits for funding terrorism and leave the mafia bereft of their easy to access cash (and I mean cash) why are some people finding it valid to complain.

Of course our banks will harass us and even delay following the rules. Fights will break out. Unless the Centre and state governments take stern action against banks that default or cheat, many of us will be troubled.

My sister is a patient who is confined to bed and her full-time nursing staff have five Rs 1,000 notes and one Rs 100 note. All the shops we deal with have pledged to give whatever needed on udhaar, including the pharmacy. Two of the male domestic staff have rung up to tell me that they have a some Rs 100 notes which they will bring and leave in a jar by the kitchen where we store small change; there is almost Rs 400 so we shall persevere. That's India for you.

It’s okay, everyone will manage. Just keep the pressure on the banks so that a good effort is not ruined.

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Updated Date: Nov 09, 2016 17:05:12 IST

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