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Demonetization makes imported fish rot in trucks

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  11 Dec 2016 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Dec 10: Demonetization continues to hit the common man. Common people going to the ATMs are being dazed and confused seeing the uvailability of notes of lower denomition. Woos of daily-wage earners, farmers, vendors and others see no end.

Fish traders are in crisis. Gorchuk wholesale fish market, no doubt, is the worst affected one ever since the Centre announced that 500-rupee and 1000-rupee notes are no longer legal tender.

Trucks coming from Andhra Pradesh usually carry 1,500 boxes of fish per day. Each box contains 40 kg fish. However, after demonetization they bring only 500 boxes a day. “We are uble to unload the boxes from the trucks as the sellers have fish already in stock. Earlier, within 24 hours of reaching Guwahati we used to unload fish and move back to Andhra Pradesh. However, after November 8 we remain stranded here for a week to 10 days,” Prem, a confused truck driver hailing from Bihar, said.

Pointing his finger towards a truck, Prem continued, “This truck reached here on December 1, but till today we are not able to unload a single box. A total of 20 trucks carrying fish come to Guwahati from Andhra Pradesh. It takes 5 to 6 days to reach here. We get Rs 20,000 as expenditure for the journey. Due to the delay in unloading of fish, we are running out of money, and a long stay in a certain place dries our wallets out.”

Now 500 boxes can be unloaded against 1,500 earlier at Gorchuk wholesale fish market. However, only 300 of them are sold per day.

“A month has elapsed since demonetization, but still people are short of hard cash. The old notes are not valid either. I think they have left eating imported fish and shifted to local ones. Only eight kilos out of 40 kilos from a box are approximately sold by a single wholesaler per day. Thanks to the weather and the ice that are preventing the fishes from rotting. Rohu was sold at Rs 125 a kilo before, but now it is sold at Rs 90 a kilo and pampets were sold at Rs 110 before. It is now sold at Rs 80 per kilo. For instance, today 600 boxes of fish are displayed in the market, but only 300 are empty,” a dazed and confused Md. Salem, a wholeseller, said.

“At least for a few days, money from Assam has stopped going out to other states. People will resort to local fish and the local fish business will thrive,” Putul Barman, a common man, said.

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