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Demonetisation: “Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Cancel Ho Gai Hai”

New Delhi: With demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes resulting into a temporary shortage of cash in the country, the big fat Indian wedding season has turned into a nightmare for both traders and families.

“Should I first pay the tentwallah or the jeweller? I go through dilemmas like this every day. Thanks to the government’s decision to ban Rs. 500 and 1000 notes, I don’t have enough cash to pay people. Tomorrow, it will be some other person knocking the door for payment. The excitement is out of the door, the wedding festivity has turned into a nightmare,” said Rajinder Gupta, whose daughter is getting married on November 24.

Though Mr Gupta supports the government on this move, he said the problem is that it’s “ill-planned” and “badly timed”.

“How can you expect a person with a marriage in his house to go and stand in the queue for hours? That too to get only a paltry sum of Rs. 10,000 and less, which ends up serving no purpose whatsoever,” he added.

The wedding season is the time of the year when traders do most of their business but lack of liquidity has led to problems.

Ranging from Rs. 5,000 to as high as Rs. 51,000, different wedding bands have offered their customers a time period of “one month” for the full payment. However, people are not even in the position to pay the advance.

“We understand the pain of our customers. But even I need to pay my workers their salary. I am getting calls but it’s limited to asking about the rates. It’s not fructifying into a deal. People are pressed for money, so we are losing out on our business,” said Mr Pankaj, owner of Sindhi Hiranand band in Tagore Garden.

Caterers too are facing order cancellations.

“Just now somebody called me to say that he won’t be able to pay me the amount and hence he is calling off the order. My employees are daily wagers, I don’t know how I’ll able to pay them with this pace of business,” Mr Manoj of Royal Caterers said.

With the old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 losing their value, people are not willing to take these notes as getting them exchanged is too troublesome.

“I don’t want to queue up; first to get the money deposited and then to get the notes exchanged. Also, there is a limit to how much we can withdraw,” Mr Manoj added.

Shops selling wedding wear say they are seeing a decrease in footfall.

“With less money to spend, clothes make for the last item on the priority list. They’ll rather spend on other things. We are seeing lesser footfall with each passing day. I am not exaggerating when I say we are seeing a loss of 80 per cent in our business,” a shopkeeper from Manyavar said.