Rethink please Mr Minister
The government must rethink the cut off date for the demonetization of the current one hundred dollar bill. While the intent of the government is clear with respect to dealing with money laundering, the culture of doing business especially amongst small and to an extent medium Sized Entrepreneurs has generally been on a cash basis. Mom and Pop mini marts generally work on a cash basis as they engage in weekly or bi-weekly purchases. It might very well be that they use cash as a basis for avoiding taxes. Be that as it may it is the duty of the authorities to check up on them for tax purposes. Now that they are forced to go to the banks to change the cash they have in hand which in some cases might be above the 50,000 limit they are being rebuffed and their monies are not being accepted. In many cases they are being insulted and fear is being driven into their hearts.
I have been visited by elderly women who run parlours openly crying because the l banks refused to transact as little as 10,000. The officials in the banks are telling them that it is the government who is demanding these explanations. And they the bankers have no alternative but to refuse the money. When some ask for statements of their accounts it is being stamped “subject to audit”. They think that they are now going to be subject of police searching their homes. I do not think that the government understands the stress and fear of people who have done legitimate business on a cash basis. Yes they are being told to go to the central Bank which is driving even More fear into them because they are also being told that they could be arrested when they go there.
The situation cries out for an intervention on the part of the Minister of Finance. People especially those driven by fear are going to be impoverished for no real fault of their own except that they are driven by fear having operated outside of the banking system for most of their lives. It will be a tragedy if people who have worked hard and on a cash basis lose their savings.
I don’t think that the government understands how the small business sector operates in this country.
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