The common man on Tuesday came out with a mixed bag of feelings and emotions on completion of one year of demonetisation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on 8 November last year when he declared that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes would not be legal tender after midnight.
Some people were of the view that they did not face any problem during the demonetisation process and that the step was beneficial for the country while others expressed the feeling that they suffered many problems and the move would not work in the interest of the nation.
Talking to The Statesman, Ramesh Chandra, a consultant in an insurance company, said, “It was a mixed experience for me. I, of course, faced problems during the demonetisation process, but it was greatly needed for removing black money from the market. The common man would not have faced problems if the move was made in a meticulously planned way. The main purpose of demonetisation – providing relief to the common man, besides other things – could not be achieved.”
Expressing the view that everything has both positive and negative aspects, Santosh Kumar Tiwari, a teacher in a private academy, said he did not face any problem as he was doing cashless transactions only.
“Those living in the rural areas particularly must have faced more problems than others, but the positive point was that the people in general got to know about the advantages of cashless transaction”, he added.
An accountant in an engineering consultancy firm, Nalini, said she did not face any difficulty in handling the situation that arose due to demonetisation as she preferred cashless transactions. “Ultimately, the exercise undertaken by the government will be beneficial to the country once black money is removed from the system”, she remarked.
Mukesh Chowdhury, an income tax consultant, told The Statesman that it was “a very bad experience” for him as he had to stand in long queues for hours to withdraw cash from ATMs. “Business establishments suffered enormously because of demonetisation. The government first launched the demonetisation process and then introduced goods and services tax (GST), and both these resulted in a big loss to business. Bank services were also not found up to the mark. The economy will not gain at all from these policies in future”, he claimed.
A Delhi-based businessman, Prakash Sehgal, said, “demonetisation had no effect on me. Only those people were affected who indulged in theft through tax evasion and those who were in the real estate business — buying and selling houses and land plots. The demonetisation exercise will benefit the nation as it was a futuristic decision.”