GUNTUR: The onset of chilli marketing season seemed to have eased the nervousness of black money hoarders especially in chilli producing districts like Guntur, Krishna, Prakasam and Kurnool. For, the chilli traders are making payments to the farmers only in old high denomination (OHD) currencies and thus helping those who stashed up huge OHDs in rerouting their monies.
Many influential rich people are flocking to the chilli merchants to transact their old currencies, taking advantage of the situation. Keeping in view of the debts to be cleared by them, farmers are also not resisting to accept the old notes. Besides, the traders are also enlightening them that they need not bother about exchanging the old notes in banks as agriculture income is exempted from income tax payments and also scrutiny.
Guntur chilli yard, the biggest to handle chilli stocks, has been flooded with huge stocks in the last few days and farmers are returning home with OHDs. According to agriculture market yard chairman Mannava Subbarao, daily arrivals are in the range of 20,000-25,000 bags which could go up to one lakh bags in the coming weeks.
“We are lucky to have the season begin a little early as it helped us in rerouting old currency without any hassle,” admitted a financier. Sources said merchants are accepting monies from the financiers on the condition that they would return their monies at the end of the business season around March next. “It is a win-win situation for all — merchants, financiers and farmers,” observed a senior marketing official.
With farmers in Guntur district sowing chilli in over one lakh acres, a production of nearly 25-30 lakh quintals is expected this current season. With the price hovering around Rs 11,000-Rs 12,000 per quintal, the total output could cross Rs 4,000 crore. “The commission agent paid my dues of Rs 2.4 lakh – all in Rs 1,000 notes – on disposal of 20 quintals. I have no choice but to accept this arrangement,” said K Yallamanda, farmer from Muppalla mandal.