Almost a year past demonetisation, the labour sector in Pune has hailed PM Narendra Modi led BJP government’s move as positive pointing out to the secondary benefit of note ban. They shrugged off the ”ill-effects of note ban saying that it helped in eliminating middle man. Soon after demonetisation, labourers in Pune’s industrial sector had complained about a delay in payment, Indian Express reported. Small and medium scale industries had conveyed their dissatisfaction of losing productive hours as labourers, like people from the rest of the country, were forced to queue up outside banks to deposit and withdraw money.
Not only the labour, but the automobile sector too reported low sales and some industry tycoons had also questioned the rationale behind this move. With consumption taking a hit, job losses, especially in the informal sector, were reported from various parts of the country. But the scenario is totally different now. The sectors complaining earlier about demonetisation now paint a different picture about how note ban has affected them. Dilip Pawar, working president of the Shramik Ekta Mahasangh, an umbrella organisation of labour unions in the district, claimed that note ban has had no lingering effect on the labour sector. “During the initial phases, all of us had gone through the same set of problems, like… delayed payments, but now things have settled down to quite an extent,” he said. He further said that the Pune’s industrial sector has not seen any job loss post the note ban move.
In the days after demonetisation, as cash was in short supply, many companies were forced to take the banking route to pay their labourers, including those on contract. The unions claimed that this had stopped the “fleecing of labourers on contract, or the process of middlemen taking a cut from the salaries of labourers”. During the demonetisation period, the labour union had also helped labourers open bank account.