Narendra Modi

Cash chaos in India: An unprecedented ban on large bills backfires on the poor

Cash chaos in India: An unprecedented ban on large bills backfires on the poor

The rickshaw meter read about $2.30, but passenger Gaurav Munjal didn’t have cash. The first ATM he and the driver found had a long line; the second was out of bills.

Frustrated, the 26-year-old tech entrepreneur asked the driver, “Do you want some rice?”

The two men drove to a department store and Munjal used a credit card to pay for an 11-pound sack of basmati rice that he deposited on the floor of the rickshaw, next to the driver’s feet. 

“Good thing for the barter system,” Munjal said later in an interview. “Otherwise it was chaos.”

An...

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