Most food stall owners reveal that they cannot rely only on e-wallets for the purchase of their raw material. Shahajah Mulla, who runs an anda-bhurji stall near Model Colony , said, “I am earning through an e-wallet and the money is transferred to my bank account. But I am unable to withdraw cash to buy raw material and I don’t have any other option. It is getting increasingly difficult to continue the business.” Most local eateries also feel that students and working professionals do not venture near their stalls any more. Abhishek Upadhyay , an engineering student, admits that post demonetisation; his street food consumption has reduced. “We have reduced indulging in evening snacks and street food. We have the option of e-wallets, but prefer to keep cash for an emergency . When we want to indulge, we prefer going to a restaurant.
Since demonetisation came into effect, small vendors and eateries have encouraged patrons to pay later. But after a month, they admit that it’s affecting their business adversely. “It is getting increasingly difficult every day . Initially, we kept a tab on people who bought food, but requested to pay later. Now that we insist on cash, we have been witnessing a dip in the number of customers. People have decided to cut down on their chai intake and we are suffering,” said Munna Bhai, a tea stall owner near Bajirao Road. Angad Kadam, who runs a dhapata stall on J M Road, rues that most regular patrons are now seen queuing up at ATMs. “No one is willing to give change. My business has been affected by almost 50 per cent over the past month. I see people queuing up at ATM centres instead of coming to my stall.” Rajesh, a local juice vendor at JM Road, says, “Not many people visit my stall. They feel that this is an unnecessary expenditure all of a sudden.”