12 May 2014

Change The "No Change" Problem

In India, I am often stuck with this problem where the shopkeeper or delivery person does not have any money to give in return after I have given more than the required amount. "No change madam" is an expression I hear often.  I have always wondered why this is the case.

I remember the days, when India had 1 Paisa, 5 Paisa and 50 Paisa coins. The manufacturing of these coins has been stopped since it is tedious and expensive to make these coins. However, most of the times the shopkeepers do not have five and ten Rupee notes or 1 or 2 Rupee coins . Why is this?

To ensure whether not having different notes of the Indian currency is a real or artificial problem, I walked into a bank, handed the teller a thousand Rupee note and demanded a specific denomination. It was given without a problem. I tried this at several branches and it has never been an issue.

After this exercise, I have concluded that not having change is an artificial scarcity created by shopkeepers out of their yearn for the extra two to three rupees. It is also sheer laziness on the shopkeeper's part that they do not want to organize some change before the day begins. They could even walk into a branch at the end of the day to plan for the next day.

My request - we should not accept "I do not have change" so easily. It is a little thing but it annoys the hell out of me. Next time a person says that, please ask where he/she has their current account and request that they prepare for change as a necessity to facilitate business.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you. It is most annoying when they give you those toffees which you don't want.