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NRIs back demonetisation, but fault its implementation

G Manjusainath, Bengaluru, Jan 08, 2017, DHNS 1:10 IST
A section of audience at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event. DH photo

Many non-resident Indians (NRIs) didn’t seem impressed by the way demonetisation was implemented.

NRIs, who landed in Bengaluru for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), said the intention may have been good but the manner in which it was executed put crores of people in trouble.

Sanjay Kumar, secretary of Indian Social Club of Thailand, said there were discussions in Thailand about demonetisation where people agreed the cause was good but implementation was poor.

Kumar said, “We agree that secrecy was very much required but at the same time, there should have been adequate preparation. In a big country like India, cash crunch would ruin the economy.”

Hailing from Palwal in Haryana, Kumar narrated his own experience. His mother, who cannot walk due to old age, found it hard to survive without cash.

“She was in dire need of cash. All I could do sitting many kilometres away was to transfer money, but who could draw cash for her? In rural areas, digital transactions are a distant dream and all financial dealings are in cash,” said Kumar.

He sought to know how many big black money holders were spotted in queues for cash. Shailesh Upadhyay from Thailand said demonetisation may be beneficial in the long run but it has slowed down economic activities.

Dr E K Mohammed Shaffe, who heads the International Indian School-Dammam at Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia said, as a student of economics, he is unable to understand what the government had achieved.

“We believe the intentions were good, but why was there no planning? No banks outside India accepted demonetised currency because of which many of us lost our hard-earned money in lakhs of rupees,” said Dr Shaffe.

Former bureaucrat from Mauritius Mookhesswur Choonee backed the decision saying that this was one major step to curb black money.

Cash-strapped visitors
The demonetisation effect hit many NRIs as soon as they landed in Bengaluru as they had a tough time reaching the venue with taxi drivers insisting on cash. Gopal K from Qatar said he had only Rs 4,000 when he came to Bengaluru of which he spent Rs 2,000.“I have to manage with only Rs 2,000 for the next two days in Bengaluru,” said Gopal.

Sanjay Kumar from Thailand said he had very little cash in hand and tried to pay the taxi driver online but he refused to accept it. “If this is the status of digital transactions in the IT capital of India, then imagine the situation in remote parts of the country,” said Kumar.

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