Long queues and crowded banks are a common sight after the demonetization plan was rolled out. People are either protesting or patiently waiting for things to get better in some days. The crowd doesn’t seem to die down even after a week since the cash ban announcement. However, government came up with a brand new plan to reduce inconvenience alleging that people are unnecessarily crowding the banks.
The plan is to ink-mark everyone who goes to the bank to exchange Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes. The ink is supposed to be indelible just like the ones used during polls. A person is expected to visit the bank only once in a day for cash swapping.
1. Overcrowding: Bank counter have seen no break after the demonetization announcement. Too many people are overanxious about getting all their money deposited as soon as possible. Even though a limit has been set for a single deposit, people are going over the way by making more than one visit to the bank on the same day, hence not letting the lines relax.
2. Misusing emergency: The situation is being misused even though it was meant to fight black money and corruption. The whole purpose would be lost if people are made to face inconvenience on a daily basis. So much anxiety in common people just because the rich have too much wealth lying around to be deposited on the same day are beginning to create chaos which needs to be addressed.
3. Multiple accounts: People with multiple accounts hold the line longer than others which is one of the reasons for the extra delay for the others waiting behind. There is enough time for the cash swapping to be carried out slowly but people just don’t want to behave. A lot of people have multiple accounts in the same bank or they carry out transactions for everyone else in their family. The ultimate delay these causes would continue if not curtailed with ink-marking or any such process.
4. Commissioned accounts: Drivers, servants, maids, plumbers are being commissioned to deposit the amount of their masters in their accounts for a small pay in return. These people would simply frequent the bank daily or hourly and deposit as much amount, black or white, as they want. Now that there will be ink-marking, it would be easy to keep track of one visit per day.
1. Adding to the distress: Common people are already distressed standing in line for hours to deposit or withdraw their hard earned money. This process of marking them is going to cause a little delay, let’s accept it, since there are too many people in line. It is also a little distrusting of the government to mark common people when they go to deposit or withdraw their own money.
2. Elections on the corners: Marking with indelible ink is meant for the election commission to keep track of voters. By-elections to four Lok Sabha seats of Cooch Behar and Tamluk in Purba Medinipur district in West Bengal, Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh and Lakhimpur in Assam are due on November 19. Similar ink marks might create confusion.
3. What about those trying to help out elderly people? There are sick and elderly people who cannot stand in line for hours to deposit or withdraw. Their children or neighbours could offer to help them. This would no longer be possible as visit to bank will be limited to once per day. There have already been a few unfortunate incidents where an elderly person suffered heart stroke waiting in the line.
4. Not everyone holds black money: Would black money holders queue in line all day to exchange a few thousands? It is mostly common people who are facing trouble trying to meet the daily needs. They are not queuing to prove a point or just for the fun of it. This move will not just be atrocious but also prove the government’s insensitivity towards common people’s distress in the situation.
5. War-time rationing? Ink-marking people when they are trying to have access to what is already theirs happen during war-time rationing.
Ink-marking could definitely limit people’s visit to the bank. But there are going to be downsides too. Less crowding would help but transactions would be limited. However, to ensure that everyone gets a chance and low level people are not misused by their Aakas, it is important to control the repeat visits of the same people.
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