Srinagar, November 12, 2016: At this point of time when the people of India are grappling to get their high denomination currency exchanged in the banks by standing in long queues for hours at stretch, Kashmir is still using the old currency notes.
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Unlike the rest of the country, people of Kashmir were already banking upon their limited cash due to the unrest of more than 100 days. So, a small group of shopkeepers in Kashmir has come forward to help the people having a limited cash by accepting old currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1000 in exchange of the goods they need.
Due to the unrest, the banks open for a limited period of time, that is only for a few hours. For which, exchanging of money isn’t going quite smooth for the people of the valley.
A shopkeeper, Ali Mohammad who sells essential commodities in Sehri Khas, Srinagar, says, “By December, I would certainly not have more than 2.5 lakh cash in hand, so if a few people are handing over notes of Rs 500 or Rs 1000 it won’t really affect me as such. If at all my amount of cash reaches 2 lakh, I’ll go and deposit it.”
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He further added, “It doesn’t matter whether I deposit the money or the person himself does it. Rather, it is better if I do it because it will be some help to those who are out of cash.”
Shopkeepers are also providing assistance in general, to help out poor rural people those who don’t have a bank account. They are accepting and exchanging the old currency notes for them.
Plastic money or e-money is not even an option for the people of Kashmir, as the internet too have suffered a lot due the unrest and is not in proper working conditions.
An organization of trade bodies, Kashmir Economic Alliance’s Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Khan said, “We have already suffered in the uprising of more than 120 days, who so ever is accepting the old currency notes, it is their own choice and for the sake of humanity. There is no compulsion from the trade bodies on them.”
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He further added, “In view of the circumstances of Kashmir, some special concession should be given by the government to deposit the money as the banks remain open hardly for a few hours in a day.”
– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram with inputs from Irfan Rashid. Twitter: @PinazKazi