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Life comes to a standstill in villages in Pune’s Maval Taluka

Life comes to a standstill in villages in Pune’s Maval Taluka

MAVAL TALUKA: For many villagers in the remote, hilly Maval taluka area in Pune district, life has turned upside down with the demonetisation move crumbling their cash economy, forcing workers to accept payment in old currencies, labourers to sit at home, and almost everybody to travel for hours to queue up before a bank to deposit their money, praying their turn will come before the counter is closed.

Soma Bhalinge and his wife from village Malegaon, who work as gardeners at the bunglow of a former cabinet minister of Maharashtra in Lonavala, were paid salaries last week in demonetised notes. “We had to accept the money as the manager said that if we insist on getting new notes, then the salary will be delayed by two months,” said Bhalinge. He had to exchange Rs 2,000 in old notes at a 20% loss to purchase groceries to take home for his parents and children living in Malegaon.
Jalinder Methal, the village contractor, had to send his labourers home as he could not pay wages to them and also suppliers of construction material were not ready to lend him beyond a limit.

Though the state government had allowed payment of property tax in the demonetised currency, village panchayat has stopped accepting them. “We had collected Rs 24,000 as contribution of people for toilet construction scheme and Rs 5,000 as property tax payment after November 8. But the Pune District Cooperative Bank, where the panchayat has account, refused to accept demonetised notes,” said Balasaheb Ghadge, who works in the Panchayat office.

Grocery and vegetable sellers said their sales are down 50%.

Meanwhile, there is increasing pressure on everyone to resort to bank transaction. Wholesalers are demanding cheque payment from grocers. “I had never got a cheque book and now the banks told me that they will issue new cheque books only in  ..
Cutting of grass to sell as fodder, which provides employment to many women from November to April, has come to a standstill because there is not enough money to pay wages. Mahadu Savaleram Supe, who works as aggregator, said traders who purchase grass from him have asked him to open bank accounts of all the 50-60 women for cheque payment.



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