New Delhi, Nov 12: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia today visited Chandni Chowk to listen to the problems of the traders in the wake of demonetisation of high-value currency notes by the Centre. The traders told him that the lack of cash has hit their businesses and they were facing "severe problems" in meeting even their daily expenses.
"Neither do we have cash nor do the customers. We are facing a livelihood crisis," Kishan Kumar, a street vendor, told the deputy chief minister as he stopped by his stall. The traders said their businesses were "severely hit" as the number of customers has dwindled over the last few days and some of the customers were still coming with the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes which were of no use. "There is no work. Most of the customers do not have the new bank notes. They are still coming with the old notes. Rumours too are affecting business," Ajay Babu Saxena, a shop owner, told Sisodia.
"Modiji had said the move (to demonetise high-value currency notes) will put an end to black money. Do these traders have black money? They do not even have money to pay the school fees of their children or salaries to their staff," the deputy chief minister told reporters. He condemned the move to demonetise high-value currency notes claiming that it did not unearth black money but affected the livelihood of small traders.
"If Modiji feels these people have black money, then there could not be a more incorrect thinking than that," said Sisodia. He met about a dozen traders around Gouri Shankar Mandir in the Chandni Chowk area who were readying their shops for the day. "The lack of cash has affected everyone. Although, no one is against digging out black money, the Modi government should have ensured that there was an adequate stock of new currency notes with the banks and in the ATMs where the people are spending hours for money," said a salesman of a shop where Sisodia stopped by.
The traders also expressed concern over rumours of VAT raids by the Trade department of the Delhi government. Sisodia assured them that no such raid will be conducted when a trader asked him whether he should open his shop or not. The traders also complained to the deputy chief minister regarding their problems in ordering goods as the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were not being accepted by the wholesalers and big traders. Chandni Chowk MLA Alka Lamba and members of the AAP's traders' wing accompanied Sisodia during his visit.