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India’s cash dearth upsets trade mission


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When India’s prime minister withdrew 500 and 1,000 rupee notes from circulation, problems followed.

Problems due to India’s prime minister’s demonetization of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes didn’t amount to a hill of beans compared to what the average Indian has had to put up with, but it was still upsetting to members of the franchise trade mission in December, as FT’s Nancy Weingartner reports. As they drove around Delhi, they witnessed long lines at every ATM. Bank customers were only allowed to withdraw 2,000 rupees a day (a little less than $30). And there was no guarantee there would be rupees the next day. Taking the bills, the most popular denominations, out of circulation was the government’s way of cracking down on people not paying taxes. Eliminating 85 percent of the bills before new ones were printed in mass caused some panic, but it also was a step in moving the economy toward a cashless society. The majority of transactions in India are in cash, mission attendees were told, but mobile wallet has seen a 200 percent growth in the two weeks following the announcement. The marketing vice president for the Delhi franchisee of Domino’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, Amit Ambekar, said there was no loss to their business after the monetary crisis.