They are lining up their workers and asking them to use their Aadhaar cards to legally exchange the cash in small chunks. They are exchanging money ranging from Rs 4,000-Rs 12,000 per individual, and some are giving them offs and also paying an incentive of Rs 150-Rs 1,500 per worker. The huge rush of people that one sees at bank branches comprise these helpless workers too.
In the last three days, owners of several manufacturing units in Peenya, Rajajinagar, Kanakapura Road, Chikkalasandra, Uttarahalli, Bannerghata Road and Mysore Road have been using their staff to exchange old notes.
A woman worker of a mixie unit located just 400 metres from Uttarahalli Circle was standing in the queue for almost six hours. Sarala (name changed) said, “We were given Rs 4,000 each with our Aadhaar card photocopied and asked to exchange for new notes. I have returned the exchanged money to our employer but he did not give me any incentive. However, the next day, we were again given Rs 4,000 and asked to exchange but were given Rs 150 extra. I did it for two days but others stood in the queue the third day too.”
On the first day itself, this mixie manufacturer got an estimated Rs 15-18 lakh converted through the help of his 350 employees. Raghu, a worker said, “We have managed to convert money to the tune of Rs 45-50 lakh by going to different banks in the nearby residential layouts.”
Calling this as a small example of misuse of Prime Minister Modi’s efforts to tackle black money, former FKCCI president and industrialist J Crasta says, “With Bengaluru urban and rural having nearly 4,500 such small scale units, the conversion of black will amount to 5 per cent only. It will not have much of an impact on a trillion Indian economy. Workers fear losing their jobs. Further, there is no way the government can track the conversion of such small amounts.”