On Tuesday night, as Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs 500 and 1,000 currency notes, business news channels called up top businesspeople to seek their reactions to the news. The general consensus among the talking heads was that the government’s move would help the economy, even if it inconveniences the common man for a while.
Soon enought, the inconvenience showed up on the ground.
On Wednesday, as ATMs and banks shut down, millions of Indians were left grappling with chaos – some did not have enough money to buy food. A day later, as banks reopened, there was a mad dash to exchange old bills and to withdraw money.
Amidst this confusion, cartoonists searched for strands of humour.
Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said that all denominations of currency, including Rs 1,000 notes, will be reintroduced with new designs and features. He clarified that the legal tender status of existing Rs 100, Rs 50 and other denominations is intact.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government is trying to ensure that replacement currency is made available to people at the earliest. ”There will be an impact on small purchases for a few days, till there is adequacy of currency, but it is beneficial in long run,” he said, adding that only those with large amounts of undisclosed money would face the consequences under existing laws.
While people are desperately trying to convert their old currency notes into legal tender, cartoonists are illustrating the humorous options available.