Months-old rumour surrounding the Rs 10 coin is still causing problems for some shopkeepers and customers in south Indian cities as many are not willing to accept the legal tender, despite repeated clarifications from the RBI that the coin can and should be used freely.
On the heels of demonetisation in November last year, a rumour spread across the country that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had declared the old Rs 10 coin invalid.
However, the RBI has debunked that claim, stating that both the old Rs 10 coin and the newer Rs 10 coin - which does not feature the rupee symbol - are still valid. The RBI reportedly asked people not to not believe the rumour and to â€ścontinue to accept these coins as legal tender in all their transactions without any hesitation.â€ť
But the rumour has led to confusion in cities like Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru, where some vendors and customers lack clarity on the issue and still refuse to barter with the coins. â€śWe do not accept the ten-rupees coin anymore after RBI declared the coins invalid. We have stopped accepting the coins. A few months ago, some of the customers also refused to accept the coins. We do not want to take risk,â€ť said David, who owns a sweet shop in Begumpet, Hyderabad city.
According to S Venkateshwara Reddy, General Secretary of Regional Rural Bank Employee Union, â€śSeveral people in the city are depositing ten-rupees coins in the bank. Even if the bank has been clarifying that the coins are valid, still people opting to deposit citing the reason that vendors are not accepting the coins.â€ť
There are four different variations of the Rs 10 coin on the market and all are valid, he added.
â€śDuring demonetisation, the RBI released all the ten-rupees coins available into the market. And all type of ten-rupees-coins are valid and should be accepted. However, people have been finding it difficult to spend because of several rumours. They are asking for Rs 10-50 notes rather than coins,â€ť he said.
Despite showing them news stories which state that the coins can be used, shop owners still refused to accept them. The confusion has made some citizens weary that the RBI will eventually change its tune. "Once they say it is legal, then there is news that we can't use Rs 10 coins anymore. Itâ€™s better to not accept them. Because of this confusion, no one is accepting the coins when I give them the change so why should I take it?" questioned Aishwarya Warier, a grocery store owner in New Thippasandra, Bengaluru.
"None of the shop keepers in this area are accepting the coins. I don't want to end up having a pile of Rs 10 coins that I cannot use and lose the money," said Dharmaraj, another Bengaluru store owner.
N Ambika, a 60-year-old department store owner in SRP tools, in Chennai, said that though they have been accepting the coins, they have faced resistance from some customers. "There are few customers who accept the coins and few others don't. So, we give to the ones who take it. In between, there were too many rumours that we should not accept it but RBI clarified the rumours through news so we accept it," she said.
With the RBI providing only one-fourth of the total cash required by ATMs, most of them in Telangana are running dry and adding to the woes of local citizens.
â€śThere is no cash in any of the ATMs in this area. So my wife saved some coins, however, the problem we are now facing is that very few Kirana shops in Makhta are accepting the ten-rupees coin. I informed them that RBI has clarified saying the coins are valid but they still do not take coins. I am left with nearly 100 of these coins. What am I supposed to do with this?â€ť said Mohammad Abdul, a resident of Kundan Bagh in Hyderabad.
In Kerala however, Viju, an employee at Geetha Medicals in Thrissur, said that such rumours outside the state have not affected them. "There is no such thing here. We have always been accepting Rs 10 coin and did so today also. Although I read in the papers that shop keepers in other states have been refusing to accept the coin for a few weeks now, that has not affected Kerala."
â€śWe haven't take any decision that we won't accept ten-rupee coin. The rumors have no impact on our business. Also the customers accept ten rupee coin without any inhibition. The business is here is as usual . Some of the customers are aware of the rumours but they haven't taken seriously,â€ť said Divakaran. He runs a cafeteria at Statute in Thiruvananthapuram