Rs 2,000 notes spur gold, realty sales

The start of the 131-day exchange window for demonetised ₹2,000 notes prompted mixed reactions, including modest queues and confusion at banks regarding required identification documents like PAN or Aadhaar. Interestingly, the process has also boosted sales in gold and real estate, further emphasising the impact of the currency transition.

Throngs of customers have flocked to jewellery stores to pay in cash for the precious metal. Some people are willing to pay a premium for the costly metal in order to get rid of their notes.

A jeweller in Delhi’s posh Green Park area had to lower the shutters due to heavy client traffic on Monday. And a similar incident also took place in a jewellery shop in Noida’s GIP mall.

Footfall at jewellery stores has increased and almost doubled in some places. In Gurugram, a jewellery store salesman told FE, “Subhe se bheed hai (there is crowd since moring)”.

According to Bhusan Aiyar of Swarna Maligai Jewellery at AdambakKam in Chennai, there was a 10% to 20% increase in the sale of jewellery since Saturday and he anticipated the demand to remain high until September end.

While many people have turned to gold to get rid of their notes, some have turned to land as an alternative. People may use their Rs 2,000 notes to buy land in tiny towns or residential stock, according to real estate agents and experts. According to a Delhi-based broker, some may decide to use these notes to buy commercial properties in Tier 2 and 3 cities from developers who may charge a premium for absorbing the currency.

Apart from gold, real estate and luxury branded goods, people are increasing their purchases of basic necessities using the soon-to-be-withdrawn currency.

“A lot of people are using Rs 2,000 to pay for fruits since Saturday,” said Swaraj Pandey, a fruit vendor at Lodhi Road in Delhi. “I now receive 6-8 notes per day. And it’s fine with me. I don’t have a choice since it’s my business. I will deposit everything all at once before September 30. There is no need to be concerned because the note is genuine,” Pandey said

Food delivery firm Zomato said on its Twitter account on Monday that 72% of the ‘cash on delivery’ orders were paid in Rs 2,000 notes since Friday.

While the RBI has encouraged people to deposit or exchange Rs 2,000 denomination notes held by them by September 30, there is no clarity on the status of the currency afterwards. Many took to Twitter to share their opinion on the development – so much so that the phrase “₹2,000” also began trending on Twitter. A few also reacted through memes and funny posts.

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