Demonetisation Has Had Little Impact On Business In Restive Kashmir

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SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir has 1.25 crore people and 1.50 crore bank accounts, NDTV reported on its website on Friday.

According to the website, instead of homes, people put their money in banks due to years of turmoil.

Daily wagers have bank accounts too; cheque payments are common

 The sight of long queues at banks and ATMs across the country after the notes ban is missing in Jammu and Kashmir, where there are more bank accounts than people.

The population of Jammu and Kashmir is 1.25 crore, and according to official records, there are more than 1.50 crore bank accounts in the state.

Even daily wage workers have bank accounts, and payment by cheques is a way of life for majority of people.

Nearly three decades of turmoil and militancy has played a role.

Worried about keeping money in their homes, a generation that has witnessed militancy in the state has opted for what is believed to be the safest option – the bank.

Manzoor Ahmad, a daily wage labourer, earns Rs. 400 a day and is paid his dues once every 15 days by cheque.

"I have no problem if they pay me through cash or cheque. The last time, they gave me a cheque and I will happily accept it if they again pay me though cheque" said Ahmad, who has been working at a construction site in Srinagar for the last two months.

Danish Ahmad, an accountant at the same site, says all payments are made through cheques because most of their skilled and unskilled labourers have bank accounts.

"Even Before demonetization, we were paying through cheque, and today, we are also paying through cheque. It doesn't make any difference to us" he said.

A senior official of the state's leading Jammu and Kashmir bank, which has over a crore accounts, said "there's a culture in households of stocking up on essentials, to prepare for tough times, be it curfews or even harsh weather. It helped after demonetisation also."

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