Sat, Dec 10, 2016 | updated 12:21 PM IST

Banarsi sari weavers struggle to make ends meet due to demonetization

Updated: Nov 21, 2016 08:50 IST

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)[India], Nov. 21 (ANI): The weavers community in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, is facing a tough time after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs 500, Rs 1,000 currency notes.

A local weaver said, "With this noble initiative which our Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on November 8, money exchange started from November 10. We tried to change our currency, but we could not do it. That is why our workshop is also shut."

"As we don't have money, we could not buy fabric for our work and our big traders are also not able to provide us the raw material. So, our weaver community is totally helpless. Labourers are also suffering badly as the price of daily needs like vegetables are touching new highs," he added.

The weaver said if demonetisation goes on for two more months, then most of the people will starve.

This tale of pain doesn't stop here. Many small scale industries too have been hit hard due to the non-availability of cash.

Uttar Pradesh's weavers are facing shortage of raw material and non-payment of wages leaving many jobless these days.

The daily turnover of the Banarasi sari industry is estimated to be around Rs.20 crores and in the wake of demonetisation, power loom operators have had to cancel hundreds of orders for saris.

The demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs.1000 banknotes was a step taken by the Government of India on November 8, ceasing their usage as legal tender across India from November 9.

In an address to the nation on November 8, Prime Minister Modi declared the circulation of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 bank notes as invalid and announced the issuance of new Rs.500 and Rs.2000 bank notes.

Bank note denominations of Rs.100, Rs.50, Rs.20, Rs.10 and Rs.5 continue to remain legal tender.

The demonetisation of high value currency has been done to stop counterfeiting of current bank notes allegedly used for funding terrorism, as well as a crack down on black money in the country. The move is also aimed at reducing corruption, drug menace and smuggling. (ANI)