Taking the nation by surprise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night announced demonetisation of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 notes with effect from 8th midnight, making these notes invalid causing a major assault on black money, fake currency and corruption. The decision by the Modi government to pull out Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes hit casinos very badly in the State of Goa. It also resulted in long lines at petrol pumps. The general sentiment of people interested in visiting casinos was that they would wait and see how the situation evolved. Read the full report here.
A Goa-based trader from Delhi smiled and said it was too early to say how the situation would evolve. Standing outside the office of a casino he said he had spent three hours in the casino. He refused to give his name but said, “The people left in a hurry and the few who were there kept answering calls from their families suggesting they leave the facility. It is pretty dead inside.” He believed that in the days ahead the number of gamblers would decrease unless there was clarity as to how the winnings would be handled.
According to a source, Staff at the counter at Deltin Jaqk said they were following regular procedures and had not been intimated of any change by the management. For any one bringing in more than Rs 50,000 the pan card details had to be provided.
At Deltin Royal, Fainna Fernandes the manager at the counter said payments were being accepted by credit card or in Rs 100 notes. With regards to winnings, she said a decision as to how the payment ought to be made would be taken by the gaming manager in the casino.
Dhannanjay Khanna along with his parents from Mumbai said they were aware of the announcement but since they wanted to just check the place out it did not make a difference. Jimit Shah and his wife from Mumbai were visiting the various casinos and intended to then decide if they wanted to go in. Jimit said, “Yes, I am keen but no one really knows how the winnings will be handled, I am keen so let’s see.”
Casino Pride was accepting payment only by card and the manager said they could be open only until midnight but that decision could change when the appointed hour arrived. The management had not communicated anything till late night.
At the petrol pump near the casino, a long line of cars was visible. Gaurish Dalvi the owner said he was accepting several payments via credit card. It was a norm earlier and he expected this to increase. Car owners like Tony Fernandes said with the limits of withdrawing money now in force made sense to fill now and ride out the storm of the next 24 hours with no ATMs working.
According to a source, reacting to the move, Petrol Dealers’ Association of Goa President Paresh Joshi said, “It is quite chaotic at petrol pumps as people are queuing up and filling petrol worth Rs 100 and offering the petrol station Rs 500 currency notes. For the next four days this chaos will continue. We have run out of Rs 100 currency notes. It is no doubt a brilliant move by Prime Minister Modi to ferret out black money.”
Similarly the Managing Director of Ulhas Jewellers, Mr Vikram Verlekar said, “It is a magnificent move by Modi to bring out black money. I am sure our business will be affected too but it is a good move for the country at large.”
Foreign tourists expressed fear at the situation. Marco Hutteman and Peter Brand from Norway appeared worried outside an ATM near their hotel. Hutteman said “Our major worry is how do we pay the taxis and the shack owners? We have a wedding to attend in Delhi and came over to Goa to enjoy and now this ruling has caught us on the wrong foot.”
The government has kept in mind the inconvenience; this may cause to the common man and has taken a lot of measures to mitigate the disruption. This sudden move to withdraw the big notes from circulation is bound to cause a lot of hardships to the common man, particularly to small and medium business enterprises.