BELGAUM: How often have you been offered chocolates instead of small change at stores and restaurants? In an informal money exchange system, many traders especially small canteens, Hotels and pan shops in Belgaum are issuing their own ‘promissory’ notes in the form of paper vouchers in lieu of Indian currency. Customers can show such coupons/tokens of a particular trader to him and in some cases even some of the neighbouring shops accept the same for a legal transaction.
If someone buys articles at these shops, they would not return the coins or notes of smaller denomination such as Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5. Instead, they issue pieces of paper bearing their seals and signature mentioning the amount. At first it was the chocolates and in few places still Chocolates is the official currency but due to unwilling customers for the chocolates the traders have opted for this new system. This system is not new to Belgaum and is in place since ages it is only now that the expanse has been more and now due to the scarcity of the small denomination coins each one is resorting to this system.
Canteen owners and pan shopkeeper say that giving change is almost impossible and hence this works good for them as the consumer can give the same on his next visit. It is very difficult to find coins of Re 1 or Rs 2. It will be very difficult to run our business without such coupons,” said a Canteen owner.
As far as the economists are concerned they call this as illegal and is unauthorized and violates consumers rights.
The Belgaum Chamber of commerce on many occasions has distributed the coins but when looked upon as whole market the amount is very meager. The RBI must install coin-vending machines in banks to ensure adequate stock and easy availability.
Photo credits: Atul
3 thoughts on “Chillar ka problem is no more Chillar”
Doesn’t it makes the case for use of plastic(cards) more stronger?
Or a more ingenuity is someone making an alternate currency which is difficult to mimic and use it as parallel economy?
This is good if you are frequent visitor to that shop else you have to visit the same shop again and buy thing even if you don’t want. Also you have to maintain the paper till next visit, if it spoiled or too old will the shop keeper accept it?
The better option for these shops is to tie up with food coupons like sodexo etc.. that can be used at various places..
One of the most serious reason for shortage of coins is also due to the new GOLD platted coins.
In rural areas and places within city like Angol, Vadgaon, Shahpur etc. these gold platted coins are EXCHANGED for ornaments. The vendors roam around places selling ornaments in exchange of coins. The coins are melted to extract the precious metal to make ornament. Also somewhere I heard that coins are also used to make shaving BLADES. Its an serious threat. Some strict action is needed against people involved in such activities.