It turns out to be a ‘dawn’ting wait for all at ATMs
Rajagopalan, a senior executive in a private firm, kept a wake up alarm on his mobile to ring at 5 am, Ashwini Talwar dropped her usual morning stroll, Vembu Iyer skipped his routine temple darshan, Krishnamoorthy did not wait for the newspaper and many like these gave a miss to their usual chores at dawn as they had an unavoidable duty - that is to join the queue in front of the ATM.
People in a slum in Saidapet queue up to exchange their old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes
At the queue there was anxiety whether the ATM will dispense cash. Comparison of standing in line for first day first show ticket, ration shop experiences, hailing and hurting the government over demonetisation decision were flying fast among people.
“The clock was only running and not the ATMs. The cash machine stood like an antique piece in a museum enclosure,” said Krishnamoorthy, waiting in front of a nationalised bank ATM in Nanganallur.
Revathy, a housewife, was worried about the situation in her house. “I stepped out even before my children woke up. Expect my husband will relieve me around 8,” she said.
Meanwhile, for the second successive day the situation continued to remain the same in ATMs and on the third day there was no let up in crowds in the banks across Tamil Nadu.
In certain places, the cash got exhausted within an hour after the kiosks opened for the day, despite the RBI restricting the withdrawals to Rs 2,000 per day.
With businesses in various industries already taking a hit, Saturday was the turn of the sectors which disburse weekly wages.
The heat was felt more in textile and industrial units in Coimbatore and Tirupur. Companies had money in their accounts but could not make withdrawals to disburse wages for the labourers. Thanks to the cap enforced by the finance ministry.
Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) president Raja M. Shanmugam told DTNext that weekly wage system was predominantly in practice in the industrial and agricultural sectors.
“We came to understand that close to 80 per cent of the labourers in Tirupur have bank accounts. Jan-Dhan has played an important role in it,” he said.
Mr. Shanmugam said that the association has asked its members to remit wages in the labourer’s bank accounts. “We have asked them (companies) to help labourers without an account to open one. We also made a representation to the banks here to give priority for opening accounts for labourers.
In some industrial units the labourers were given the demonetized Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currencies as demanded by the labourers. Owner of one such industrial unit claimed that the labourers told him that they would get it exchanged in the banks.
This reflected with poor business for the weekly temporary markets selling vegetables and other commodities, which solely depend on weekly wage labourers for business.