Demonetisation, A Year On: Goa’s Economy Remains Cash-Based As Tourist Season Begins

Things are quiet at this seaside restaurant in Anjuna, a popular stretch of beach in North Goa, at the start of the tourist season in October. A few tourists sit inside, enjoying the view, but it is t... Goa’s sun and beaches attract tourists from around the world. Tourism employs 10.2% of the state’s workforce. ...   Demonetisation had come just as last year’s tourist season was taking off. Tourists were unable to withdraw money as ATMs were overcrowded or out of cash. Shops and restaurants that did not h... Guru Bar was one of the few establishments in Anjuna that had a card-swipe machine during demonetisation, which many neighbouring businesses also used. The restaurant marks its 50th anniversary th...   Contrary to people’s experience on the ground, the government claimed in a December 2016 press statement that it had taken measures to ensure tourists were not adversely affected by demonetis... A typical day at a seaside shack. During demonetisation last season, cash-strapped tourists had reduced their spending or fled to South-East Asia. This year, businesses are waiting to see if touri...   Sunset Bar, which has been renamed Uddo Life, had not yet opened for the season due to a change of management. “Post demonetisation there was a huge surge in demand for swipe machines, and we...

Demonetisation, A Year On: In Delhi Textile Hub, Businesses Unravel, Jobs Scarce

Babita (second from right) has been looking for a job as a tailor for eight months now since the last unit she was employed at shut down post-demonetisation. Every morning, thousands of migrant worker... The ‘Wanted’ boards outside factories listing vacancies have been increasingly sparse since demonetisation ...   Aimed at making the economy less cash-reliant, demonetisation came as a body blow to the readymade garments sector, 80% of which made up of informal units that operated with cash and casual lab... Many workers, like Yadesh Kumar (in yellow), had opened bank accounts to facilitate cheque payments but now find that there are no jobs to give these accounts any meaning. ...   Many workers opened bank accounts after demonetisation to allow employers to make cashless payments. But with no jobs for the few thousand workers–100,000, the local reckoned–wander... Nearly 80% of businesses in the apparel sector consist of small scale units that employ casual labour. ...   “We are simply not productive or organised enough to deal with this competition. And then we bring in something like demonetisation and Canadian model of GST into the industry,” said a mid-... Workers like Enashi Devi are being turned away at gates by factory managers who cite GST as the reason for the downturn. ...   “Woh bole rahein hain DST (sic) hai, naukri nahin milegi (they say there are no jobs because of DST–meaning GST). Look at the mobs of people searching for jobs, it makes me dizzy. Wheth... Small feeder businesses like this dyeing unit running out a one room tenement in Nayagaon, off Noida Hosiery Complex, are finding it hard to deal with the complexities of GST. ...   He earns around Rs 50,000 in the peak season and has just acquired a GST account. But he cannot handle its complexities since he is not computer literate, so he now hires the services of an acc...

Why A Flower Farmer Cannot Join The Cashless Economy, A Year After Demonetisation

Keshu Patel and his son Kantilal pluck marigold flowers in his field in Mirjapur, Madhya Pradesh. Post notebandi, the unpredictability of getting cash, which he needs for all his transactions–gr... A diseased marigold plant in Keshu Singh Patel’s farm. This year, a part of his crop was spoilt because of disease....   When asked whether he uses a card to make payments at the local grocery store, Patel is at a loss. He said grocery shops don’t have a card, that his bank doesn’t give him a card–only ... The flower market in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Last year, the month after notebandi, flower prices had stayed low even in the wedding season. But there hasn’t been a lasting impact of notebandi on...   Small transactions by cash, only big traders use cheques   “I still don’t have a bank account,” said Jagganath Mahadeo Bhuyyer, who goes by the name Bhausahab, and owns a flower shop...

First Demonetisation, Then Loan Waiver: Main Bank For Onion Farmers In Crisis

Customers line-up at the a branch of the Nashik District Central Cooperative Bank, but only a few are allowed to withdraw up to a limit of Rs 25,000–they must prove a medical emergency or marita... Even as farmers get ready to sow the winter or rabi crop, Nashik District Central Cooperative Bank loaned Rs 300 crore in 2016-17 compared to Rs 3,367 crore in 2015-16. ...   Why district cooperative banks are important   Even as farmers get ready to sow the winter or rabi crop, Nashik District Central Cooperative Bank loaned Rs 300 crore in 2016-17 compared to... Shirish Kotwal, Director, Nashik District Central Cooperative Bank,"We have 13.5 lac customers, 212 branches yet we are termed unreliable1/3 — swagata yadavar (@swagata... A year after demonetisation, we visited the bank again and found it spiralling further into crisis.   District central cooperative banks are part of India’s three-tier–primary, district a... var divElement = document.getElementById('viz1510318567004'); var vizElement = divElement.getElementsByTagName('object')[0]; ...   The NDCC bank’s 212 branches are spread across Nashik district–which is three times the size of Goa and four times its population–many in remote areas.   “Many (account hol... “RTGS [Real Time Gross Settlement] transactions allowed only up to Rs 25,000. Enquire after one or two months after submitting the form. Bank may complete the transactions earlier if possible. I...   “I have been coming to the bank weekly since February,” said Kalpana Deshpande, a government teacher, who had come to the Nashik branch from Malegaon, 100 km to the north. “The NDCC accou...

A Year After Demonetisation: Small Retailers Report Further Losses But Support BJP

Lalita Yogesh Patil, 31, in her shop, Tanish kirana store, in Vishwabharti Phata village, in Thane district. Since demonetisation a year ago, her store has been in losses of 50% and more, Patil said. ... The owners of 14 stores said their stores were still running losses. During our last visit (in January 2017), 13 stores had reported losses. Among these 14, owners of 12 stores said their losse...   Source: IndiaSpend interviews   ...   Jobs vanish, as does business   In Vishwabharti Phata, off Kawad highway in Thane district, Patil runs the tiny Tanish Kirana Store, which is attached to her pakka house flanked by rice ... Lalita Patil and her sons Harshad and Tanish outside their home and the attached shop. Patil had reopened the store two years ago after her husband passed away in 2012. Her family of three is enti...   Patil’s shop would have enabled her to afford treatment were it not for demonetisation, she said. Her most regular patrons were local adivasis (tribals) employed by small businesses in the ar... Source: IndiaSpend interviews... Three of the store owners who now admit losses had told IndiaSpend during our previous visit in January 2017 that their businesses had not been affected by demonetisation.   None of the 17 revi... Jagdish Chaudhari of Poornima Kirana stores in Kupari Naka, Virar, said that since the introduction of GST in July, his shop’s profit margin had dropped and the inflow of customers had reduced b...   “Iss saal Diwali kuch khaas nahin tha [this year Diwali was nothing special],” said Ramesh Kumar, 34, another shopkeeper in Kupari Naka who reports 50% losses. “I have yet to sell 80% of ... Kirana owner Sitabai Prajapati in the Wada industrial area of Thane district tells @bexsaldanha: — IndiaSpend (@IndiaSpend) November 1, 2017 "This Diwali, we didn't h... All the kirana stores we revisited said GST had made consumer goods more expensive, leading to a drop in earnings of between 10% and 50%. The waning trickle of customers for an entire year has visibly... Farmer and kirana-owner Megha Patil mortgages her gold every year to meet farm expenses. With heavy rains ruining the crop, and the shop in losses from demonetisation and GST, she says it is now d...   “Who wants to get their hopes high? Anytime the government can decide anything it wants–we are left with no choice but to just deal with it,” said Narayan Chaudhari, a shopkeeper in t... Source: IndiaSpend interviews... “Running this shop on cash is itself so expensive now. Who’s going to bother keeping other options,” said Kumar of Kupari Naka.   All shopkeepers using PoS machines and mobile wallets said ... Nilesh Patil (right) runs Sadguru Krupa Stores in Kawad, currently in losses of over 50%. His joint family of nine members depend entirely on the shop’s income. ...   Yet, continuing support for Modi   Off the Bhiwandi-Wada highway, kirana store owner Ambika Kumbhar said savings and investments aside, losses and inflation have hit her home budget. “E... Ambika Kumbhar runs Shree Swami Samarth kirana store which has recovered 50% of the losses reported in January 2017. After this, the store is now running at 25% loss. ...   Kumbhar said it would take years to recover the losses her family had suffered. Yet, her allegiance to the BJP and to PM Modi remains intact. “We support Modi because we are from Gujarat, he ... Source: IndiaSpend interviews... Among those who still support the BJP, six, including Kumbhar, cited village or community ties as their reason. Two said they had no choice since the opposition still does not offer a strong leader to... On October 30 and 31, 2017, IndiaSpend went out to retrace each of the 24 stores featured in its January 16, 2017, report on the impact of demonetisation on small retail stores. We were able to in... We welcome feedback. Please write to We reserve the right to edit responses for language and grammar. ...

#Notebandi Frontlines: Farm To Loom, Textiles–Employer Of 25 Million–Totter

Power looms in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra, that have not been operational for six months now.   Mumbai, Bhiwandi & Ahmedabad: Dilapidated, dirty and depressed, a town that was once called the Manchester of Asia smells of textile starch, thinners, garbage and sewage.   Since the turn of the century, Bhiwandi, 30 km north of Mumbai, has wilted … Continued

#Notebandi Frontlines: Small Stores Struggle To Survive, But Many Support Modi

Ambika Kumbhar (62) with her daughter-in-law Manisha (34) at their kirana store off the Bhiwandi-Wada road in Thane district, north of Mumbai. The Kumbhars reported a 62% drop in earnings since demonetisation, IndiaSpend found in a survey of mom-and-pop stores in and around the financial capital.   Mumbai: At noon, cars sped along the Bhiwandi-Wada … Continued

#Notebandi Frontlines: Out Of Cash, A Dying Textile Town Goes Silent

In two decades, not much has changed for 41-year-old power loom worker Nandan Pagare from Malegaon, Maharashtra. He still works more than 12 hours a day, earns Rs 1,800 a week, receives no provident fund, paid leaves or insurance from his employer. Since notebandi, his income has halved, as the power loom now works three … Continued

#Notebandi Frontlines: As Tourists Stay Away, 50 Million Livelihoods At Risk

  Anjuna (Goa): Raju Lakhani’s beachside restaurant here at this popular tourist strip in north Goa should have been packed this time of the year. But the tables at Moon Star are empty and the restaurateur is a worried man.   “We have no customers,” he said. “Almost 90% of tourists are leaving because of … Continued

92 Hours Of Lok Sabha Disruption Cost India Rs 144 Crore

  Biju Janata Dal member of Parliament (MP) Jay Panda announced that he would forgo part of his November and December salary–he did not mention how much that would be and the amount cannot be calculated now–to atone for the 92 hours lost during the current session of the Lok Sabha (Parliament’s lower house), the … Continued