The next time you write the list of grocery (Kirana) items for your monthly needs, don’t write chocolates. Or you plan to visit a kirana shop for purchasing a petty item, be prepared to receive one or two chocolates priced at Re 1 or Rs 2 without demand. Now-a-days, the kirana traders have adopted a new tactic of handing over a chocolate or two in place loose coin change. The acute shortage of coins is forcing the traders go for chocolates notwithstanding customers like it or not.
However, only kirana traders or to some extent medical shops, who also store chocolates, have been sparing themselves from the shortage of loose coins the chocolate way! But the awkward situation is not easy for hundreds of other traders to deal with. And the customers, too. Many customers were seen keeping the big currency note with the traders for want of change and out of no choice, too.
The most difficult time the citizens take the maximum brunt of coin shortage is at Railway counters, buses, Government offices where money transactions take place, hospitals and at other places. Here, the chocolate tactic could not adopted, and the net outcome is citizens running from one corner to another or purchasing unnecessary items for the sake of change to complete the deal at Railway counters and other transactions.
One of the traders admitted acute shortage of coins and was also a surprised one. The Reserve Bank is making coins of different denominations available in sufficient proportion. Where the coins of going? According to the trader, “Dalals” (Touts) have gone on coin grabbing spree and are selling the same to needy traders on hefty commissions. The touts earn Rs 15-20 for every deal of Rs 100 coins.
The touts are ruling the roost and the customers and the traders are ruing the situation.