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India Withdraws Large Denomination Banknotes

03-03-2017 01:48 PM CET | Business, Economy, Finances, Banking & Insurance

Press release from: SGS

/ PR Agency: Sugarloaf Marketing
In November 2016, the Indian Government withdrew the current stock of Rs500 and Rs1000 banknotes from circulation. The change was designed to curb the parallel economy, eliminate counterfeit cash and bring unused cash back into the economy. In the short-term however, the move has had unsettling consequences for business owners and individual workers.

Mixed Reactions
Abolishing the existing 500 and 1,000 rupee notes and replacing them with new versions was one of the first acts of currency demonetization in the history of independent India. However, the aim of promoting the adoption of a digital cashless economy in India has been somewhat over-shadowed by long queues at banks and closed ATMs. As a result, some people have criticized the change - although Indian citizens who are regular tax-payers have apparently welcomed it overall.

What Does Demonetization Mean for Businesses?
In the manufacturing world, much of the supply chain depends on cash for its day-to-day activities such as paying temporary workers. In addition, the lack of cash is affecting pro-duction efficiency – for example, when firms need to fix machines that have broken down, or to hire and pay casual labor.

What’s more, workers with low literacy levels and economic status struggle to open and operate bank accounts – and therefore require payment in cash. In situations where cash has not been available, many such workers have lost their jobs. Also, ethical audits reveal that a cash deficit has caused some factories to reduce overtime and bonus payments, and to pay salaries late.

What Happens Next?
The government claims that the situation is improving and that the banking system should return to normality within a month. Its objective remains the same: to cleanse the system and provide a better compliance level of payments to workers.

India's Textile Minister, Smriti Irani, has stated that the currency change will benefit the country's textile workers as cashless transactions will help bring about transparency in wage payments. To boost this effect, the ministry is ensuring that payment cards are is-sued to workers.

What Can SGS Offer?
SGS is offering a range of services to support organizations in India. The company can help to evaluate approaches to human trafficking and to monitor supply chains, as part of an overall due diligence approach to responsible sourcing.

SGS has been involved in social accountability since its inception and has offered tailored audit services since 1996. With the world’s largest network of highly trained auditors, SGS has extensive experience of reviewing operational capabilities, labor standards, environ-mental compliance and business integrity.

For further information, please contact:

Savita Manjunath
Consumer and Retail
Head of Social Responsibility Services
SGS India Pvt Ltd.
Tel: +91 80 67261418

About SGS
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 em-ployees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world.

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