Jamshedpur, June 6: In an attempt to meet the shortage of coins the Jamshedpur-based Central Bank of India in association with the Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on Saturday organised a coin disbursement mela wherein coins worth Rs 22 lakh of various denominations ( Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5 and Rs 10) and currency notes were disbursed among local traders. A total of 78 traders were benefitted from the initiative.
Senior bank officials including the Chief Manager Dr. NK Singh and representatives of SCCI including its President Suresh Sonthalia were present on the occasion and inaugurated the event.
President Suresh Sonthalia said that the scarcity of small-denominated coins is affecting business operations. Chamber had already made a formal request to RBI to increase the allocation of coins into the system. Traders are pressured to give chocolates in exchange of the coins. Sonthalia assured that within a month another coin fair will be put up at the Chamber.
Chamber also made appeal to people who usually kept their coins in their homes, particularly in piggy banks as well as charitable institutions whose collections consist of coins.
Though in an attempt to meet the coin crisis prevailing in the city and adjoining areas and to make the coin easy accessible, the State Bank of India (SBI) has also set up a coin vending machine at its branch in Bistupur here.
According to Sonthalia, due to the efforts of the trade body several branches of nationalised banks have installed coin vending machines, which is a permanent solution to tackle the crisis.
Dr. NK Singh, Chief Manager, Central Bank of India, Jamshedpur branch, said they are monitoring the situation and if required request for another consignment of coins will be made to the RBI. He also appreciated the attempt made by Chamber and assured to the traders at any point of time.
Of late, many shops in Jamshedpur have taken to displaying boards that read “Please tender exact change and cooperate”. Following an acute shortage of coins, small and medium businesses here are resorting to novel means to get loose change to tide over the crisis.
If some are tying up with temples to secure surplus coins, others are buying coins from beggars at a premium. Bus conductors and staff at the railway ticket counters are invariably demanding exact changes for tickets. The vegetable vendors are no exception to this.
The short supply of coins in the denominations of Re. 1, Rs. 2 and Rs. 5 has forced businesses such as hotels here to introduce “coupons” (in an informal way) in different denominations to overcome the scarcity. Patrons can use tender the coupon during their next visit.
“The shortage of coins is causing severe problems for us and our customers. Sometimes, the scarcity leads to unpleasant situations as customers get into an argument. We are forced to buy coins from beggars. It is time that something is done,” said a grain dealer.