Where are the Coins ?

Sanjit Laishram *

Where are the Indian Coins ?

If you are in Imphal and happens to buy goods or products form any local shop or kirana store, don't be surprise if the shopkeeper give you candies and chewing gums in returns instead of your excess one rupee, two rupee or five rupee coins.

Never in any place of India, had I find such a situation on a day to day basis.

As for my personal experience I have visited 20 states and 3 union territories of India, never had I came across such a daily situation of shops and stores not having enough coins or change to return to customers on a daily basis.

It's not a matter of once in a while incident, in the name of unavailability of coins in the market, its open looting form customers who don't posses change in their wallets.

This is an alarming trend as 90% of the shopkeepers in imphal don't keep denomination of one rupee, two rupee or five rupee coins in the shop intentionally or due to unavailability of coins in the market, which is highly unlikely.

The question is where are the coins?

I don't think there is any restriction or scarcity of coins issued by the finance ministry who is responsible for circulating denomination of one rupee, two rupee or five rupee coins in the market.

Local traders and shop owner in the name of scarcity of coins in imphal market is taking undue advantage on this matter. They don't border to take up this issue with the concern authorities or banks who are supplying these coins in the market, as they prefer to mint excess money form hapless customers who don't have change or small denomination to tender the exact amount while buying goods.

In the name of non availability of coins the market, shopkeepers give back candies, chewing gums, pan masala or in some cases shampoo sachet to hapless customers who unwilling take these product home. This matter is becoming a serious issue for all the customers in and around imphal area.

After all how long are we going to remain a silent spectator in this regard, letting the shopkeepers dictate is own term by giving shampoos and cadies in favor of our money our change our coins.

You will say that one rupee, two rupee or a five rupee is not a big amount when you are buying a whole lot of goods. If you look closer and deeper on this issue on how traders and shop keeps are playing the economics, the result speaks for itself.

Say we are buying a small basic household necessity items form a local kirana shop, a minimum of five times in a day and the shopkeeper give you five candies every time you visit his shop instead of your five rupee coins in the name of non availability of coins in the market.

It's high time to do our Maths in this regard the answer speaks for itself and how much money we could have save. After all one can eat only a handful of candies in a day.

We as responsible citizens need to politely decline this habit of shop keepers who offer us candies and chewing gums instead of our due amount. Also high time for shop keepers and traders to look at a long term perspective on this regard as there is always a limit tolerance form the customers side.

The safest solution to this entire problem is we customers tender the exact amount to the shop keepers, nothing more nothing less.

* Sanjit Laishram wrote this article for
The writer is a Freelancer Management Graduate, Mass Communication Student in Manipur University and can be contacted at sanjitlaishram(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on September 18, 2012.

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