No more 'Udta Punjab' after demonetisation

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Bengaluru, Nov 16: When the movie Udta Punjab hit the screens, there was much talk about the drug mafia in the state. The movie rightly depicted the extent of the problem. However, today the scenario has changed- thanks to demonetisation.

It is an industry worth over Rs 60,000 crore. The drug mafia run by Afghanistan and Pakistan has a big market in India and today thanks to the decision on demonetisation, the industry has taken a major hit.

Currency ban: Drug mafia takes a hit

There has been no business on the borders since last Wednesday says an Intelligence Bureau official. The drugs are there, but there is no money to pay. The money that is there is today as good as toilet paper as they are in the denominations of Rs 500 and 1,000.

No more on a high

Reports from the across the border suggest that there has been a lull. No high value transactions have been made since the announcement on November 8 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The transactions that have been reported are in small numbers and have not exceeded Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000.

This is quite a come down for the drug mafia operating along the Punjab border which on an average would do business of anything between Rs one and five crore. According to security officials, the mafia is bleeding. They have the supply, but on the Indian side none have such large chunks of money to spare.

Indian officials will use this as an opportunity to clean up the mess. However they do not rule out a revival over the next couple of years.

An officer says that there is a chance of revival, but it will be slow and not that easy. For now what we are noticing is low value transactions. However this is likely to fade out too as the Pakistanis do not prefer low value transactions since the cost of smuggling is higher.

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