- Small-time businessmen and many private companies have told workers they will not be able to pay
- Long queues at banks and ATMs at the end of the month will be a norm
With demonetisation in the country running full steam ahead, the public is being forced to tag along. While earlier the worries were limited to standing in bank queues and lack of money in ATMs, the focus is slowly shifting to pay date.
For the people who get their salaries electronically transferred into their bank accounts, the biggest concern is – if you are broke...how to withdraw money? You can only hope for a let up in the lines in front of the ATMs and banks.
What about small-scale industries and businesses where workers are paid in cash? Due to the demonetisation drive, businessmen can only withdraw ₹50,000 per week from their current accounts. So imagine if you have to pay 20 workers their salary in cash? Where will the money come from?
Gaurav Verma, who runs a textile manufacturing unit, in Delhi explains what the situation is like for most businessmen like him. He says, “I have taken time out and stood in lines but most of the time I have been unable to withdraw the ₹50,000 entitled for us. I only have ₹50,000 on me and I have to pay them close to 2 lakh rupees and then there are other expenses. Those who needed immediate cash as many come from poor houses I gave money from what I had with me. To the rest, I have already said that I will be unable to pay them on time this month. The labourers, most have no bank accounts, prefer taking cash. So, this time they can do nothing but wait till I can secure more money.”
Daily wage workers, employed in the market areas of cities who do the work of loading and unloading are the most affected. Most of the markets of the country where weekdays are the busiest, now wear a deserted look. Why? They are daily wage earners, their employers have expressed inability to pay them since they are short of cash, so these people have also stopped working.
In Kerala, the condition of dairy, cashew and plantation sectors was highlighted by an article in the The Indian Express. It stated that due to a ceiling on withdrawal, in Wayanad, one of the largest milk supplying districts in Kerala, 55 dairy farmers’ societies have not paid farmers.
It also depends on industry to industry like in the construction, medical, leather, forging and auto ancillaries you have to pay people on daily or weekly basis. Incidences have been reported of work being stopped, labourers not being paid as contractors do not have money for payment. This is likely to be the case come the end of the month.
The demonetisation had the strangest effect on the normally stingy purses of private companies and small-time businessmen. Where earlier employees had to beg for an advance in salary or even regular salary, now many are reporting that their bosses have offered them advance salary of 3 months and some even 5 months!
It seems the government offices are the ones who are a bit better off in today’s date. The government has allowed the Central government employees up to group C to draw salary advance up to ₹10,000 in cash that'll be adjusted against their November salaries. Many of the state and central government employees have appealed in letters to the government for advance payment of their salaries and that too in cash. Like others they say that not everybody will be able to stand and line and withdraw money as office work will be affected.
In Telangana, the government feels they don't have enough money to pay salaries of the employees. The government has been hit by a loss of revenue after the demonetisation of the currency. So here even the government workers will be affected.
Come payday most will be rushing to ATMs to withdraw their salaries as they have to pay vendors, maids etc., who sorry to say, do not accept card or cheques. May be IOUs are the only way forward.
So judging by the current situation and regular changing in withdrawal limits etc., pay day in India will be another chaotic event. So are we prepared? The answer is No.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 7:05 PM IST