The govt along with IDFC Bank has taken this initiative to enable cashless transactions.

Telangana govt has a creative solution for farmers market in demonetisation woes
news Demonetisation Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 19:05

On Saturday, Rythu Bazaar in Kukatpally, Hyderabad, was full of activity with people buying and bargaining for vegetables. However, this was not the case two days ago. After demonetisation of high value notes, people faced a cash crunch which directly affected the sale in Rythu Bazaar.

But on Saturday, the Telangana government along with IDFC Bank took the initiative to enable cashless transactions in order to ease the “change” problem. Those shopping for vegetables were issued coupons worth Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 20 so that the vendors don’t suffer a loss.

Speaking to The News Minute, Kiran Reddy, the supervisor of Rythu Bazaar said, “Two days ago, the sale came down by 40%. But after the coupon system was introduced since morning, more than 200 people have already used it and the number of shoppers is likely to cross 400 today. They just have to provide their Aadhar card number in the counter here, and they can pay the amount and get coupons to buy vegetables in Rythu Bazaar."

Rythu Bazaar or Farmers' Market was started in 1999 by the government of united Andhra Pradesh to help small scale farmers sell directly to the consumers.

The marketing minister who launched the initiative, T Harish Rao told Deccan Chronicle, “Due to currency shortage, the activities in Rythu Bazaars had come to a halt in the last 10 days. Everyone is bringing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Sellers were not in a position to sell, while buyers are forced to leave empty handed. While sellers and farmers are suffering huge losses due to decay of vegetables, the buyers are facing severe hardships in obtaining vegetables. We have decided to bridge this gap by introducing cashless transactions.”

If the customers have any amount remaining after their shopping, they can return the remaining coupons in the counter. The money will be credited back to their account.

After the day ends, the vendors will deposit their coupons to the counter and take cash or the money will be transferred to their account, added Kiran Reddy. He also said that this initiative has increased the sale as now it has become more convenient for people to shop.

“I am happy to see the crowd back again,” said Mohammad Tajuddin, who owns stalls that sell garlic and ginger.

After November 9, the crowd decreased by nearly 50% and it was getting harder day by day to sell the vegetables because neither the customers nor the vendors had change, said Tajuddin.

“I make nearly Rs.30,000 every week, out of which I have to pay the farmers, transportation and three more boys who work with me. But last week I could only make 12,000. It was a huge loss, I couldn’t pay for transportation and my workers,” he said.

Kaveriamma, a 37-year-old vegetable vendor in the bazaar couldn't take her son Srinu to hospital last week because of the loss. “My son had high fever, I was praying for past one week that somehow I should manage to get some money. Finally I had to borrow money,” she said.

“After a week, I am busy selling these vegetables. I was worried that if these vegetables get spoilt, I’ll face a huge loss,” she added.

Venkatiah, a 32-year-old tomato seller, said, “Today after ten long days, the sales are going fine. I already sold half my tomatoes since morning, this is because of the new coupon system. People are not fighting for change any more.”

Shiva Ramakrishna, a 36-year-old software engineer, stays in Kukatpally. He'd been shopping from the supermarket for the past one week as he could make the payment through his debit card.

“The supermarket is very expensive, at least I can bargain here. Everybody is facing this currency crisis right now so I had no option but to shop from the mall using my debit card,” he said.

He also mentioned that the token system to ease the change problem is a good initiative as he can make the payment through coupons in the bazaar, and doesn’t have to go to the supermarket.

“We buy vegetables and fruits from here every weekend. After the ban of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes we were hardly left with any change, I just had these Rs.2,000 notes with me. Who will give me change for Rs.2000 in this bazaar?” Nagamani, a 46-year-old resident of Vasanth Nagar, near Kukatpally, asked.

On Saturday, however, Nagamani's problem was resolved by the coupon system. Temporarily anyway. 


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