By P.T. Bopanna
The Modi government’s demonetization has come as a blessing in disguise for Kodagu, though it has caused a lot of distress to the people.
The only silver lining is the fact that the real estate mafia is starved of cash as the land deals have been hit by the demonetization. It is estimated that 90 per cent of the property deals have been affected as there is a cash crunch.
Due to the crunch, it is said the property prices have come down as there are not many buyers who had been flocking from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Bengaluru. The situation is likely to continue for a year or two, it is being said.
There is panic among coffee growers as there are very few buyers. While the coffee price is on the rise, there are not many buyers. Planters are worried as the coffee crop will be ready for harvest in a month. Most of the coffee buyers are Kerala Mapilas who have been hit hard by the demonetization as they used to make the payment in cash.
The immediate effect of demonetization has been felt in the payment of wages to workers in the coffee estates. This reporter who went to a bank was told that only Rs 2,000 in smaller denomination was available and the rest will be given only in the new pink Rs 2,000 currency.
Even the bank ATMS are dispensing Rs 2,000 notes, inconveniencing the public. The situation is unlikely to improve in the next few weeks. The cashier of a nationalized bank at Gonikoppal said he was yet to see a new Rs 500 note as they have been receiving only Rs 2,000 notes.
In the circumstances, it would be difficult to make payment to workers during the coffee picking season which starts in the next few weeks in Kodagu.