The central government’s move to demonetise Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 denomination currency notes evoked mixed reactions with the common people generally welcoming it in Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and some other places in northeast India on Wednesday.
Although markets and other businesses in different parts of the state witnessed low-key activity due to the demonetisation, the citizens, particularly the common people, praised it as a step towards freeing the country of black money.
Rattled shopkeepers refused to accept the currency notes of demonetised denominations and wanted only Rs.100 and below.
“It remained a difficult day for people like us. No one accepted Rs.500 notes, not to talk of Rs.1,000 notes in the market. After all, how can one arrange so much of Rs.100 currency and below all of a sudden? I had to buy half the quantity of all the stuff,” said Brojen Bora, a resident of Guwahati’s Uzan Bazar area.
Bora, however, complimented Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team for the unique initiative to stop circulation of fake currency as well as black money.
In Tripura, while a section of traders were accepting the demonetised currency notes, a large section of traders declined.
Most jewellers, cooking gas dealers, travel agencies in Tripura were not accepting the Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes, putting a large number of people to great trouble.
However, most petrol pumps and medicine shops in Tripura were accepting the Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes.
The situation in neighbouring Mizoram and Southern Assam was no different.
Tripura Minister for Finance and Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Bhanulal Saha said “To my knowledge, the currency notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 have been scrapped to check black money. People would be put to trouble, though temporarily. The Government of India should take further steps to deal with the situation.”
“Don’t know whether the step announced by the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) would achieve the desire goal in the long run,” he added.
Senior Congress leader Ratan Lal Nath, however, criticised the Prime Minister, saying that without consulting the economists and experts, the Central government all of a sudden and unilaterally banned the high denomination notes, putting the people to trouble.
“We also want the government to act tough against the hoarders and black money holders, but this should not be at the cost of the common people,” said Nath, former opposition leader in the Tripura Assembly.
A bank union leader said: “Prime Minister Modi’s step would not only have strong impact on black money but also help make the economy stronger by stopping the circulation of fake notes in the market.”
The Central government has taken a very bold step to target illegal money and black money holders, he added.
Subhash Das, a former civil servant, said he was unable to purchase many things. “But, I support the step hoping that the negative impact of black money will be checked and circulation of fake currency will be stopped in the near future.”
Meanwhile, IndiGo Airlines in a statement said that pursuant to the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the airline would not be accepting Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 denomination currencies for any services, including inflight sales, excess baggage charges or Fast Forward, with the only exception being airline tickets at airport ticket counters till November 11.