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Housewives affected by Modi’s decision to scrap low denominations

Categories : Cash connects people
November 15, 2016
Tags : Africa, inequality, Pocket money
Indian housewives are greatly affected by the recent and overnight decision to scrap the Rs500 and the Rs1,000. It could affect their financial independence and their dignity.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

Narendra Modi’s decision to demonetize the Rs500 and Rs1,000 as a strategy to fight corruption and fraud, will greatly affect a section of the population that rarely has access to money and bank accounts: housewives.

In patriarchal India, only 20% of women have access to bank accounts (UN report, 2014). Even the most educated women don’t deal with banks as it is considered a men’s responsibility. However, to offer themselves a little bit of freedom, most Indian housewives, regardless of social status, save money in hidden places, away from their husbands’ view. This empowers them and gives them some financial freedom to buy jewelry, pay for a trip or purchase something nice for their daughter’s wedding.

The government has given until December 30 to deposit and exchange all the obsolete banknotes, but deposits above Rs2.5 lakhs will be taxed and the depositor could incur a 200% fine if authorities find out that the savings don’t correspond to their tax declarations.

These measure have caused much distress for women that are not only forced to admit to their husbands that they’ve been stashing cash, but it could cause them to lose much of their savings in taxes and penalties as well as their independence and self-esteem.

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