The currency ban has taken a heavy toll on daily wage earners in rural areas. With no one to hire them due to the desperate cash crunch, daily workers and their families are in destitution.
KOCHI: The currency ban has taken a heavy toll on daily wage earners in rural areas. With no one to hire them due to the desperate cash crunch, daily workers and their families are in destitution. Though the situation is better in the city where there is a big construction project, village workers have no work and therefore they have no money even to buy essential goods.
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“Initially, the workers were given the old currencies as wages and they had to go to banks every day and stand in the long queues to get fresh notes. It is the poor who do not have bank accounts, work on daily wages and keep the money in their homes who are the worst affected. I have seen poor parents who cannot even send their children to the schools or colleges as they have run out of money,” said Shajan M.P, a social activist from Puthanvelikara, a remote village.
Employers are unable to dispense their wages, Rs 700 to Rs 800 for the mason and Rs 500 to Rs 600 for their assistants in Rs 100 notes. As the construction sites of big realty groups are still working, however not on a full scale, workers in the urban areas are getting wages. “I have asked my domestic help, who I pay weekly to come only two days a week till the currency crisis is settled. And these days I only spend on a minimum needs,” said Bhavani Balan, a housewife. There are thousands of farmers and the small-scale merchants in rural areas who have the accounts only with cooperative societies and not scheduled banks. Their financial transactions have been completely disrupted.