In an interesting turn of events from another industry sector, the Indian Cellular Association has asked Government of India to allow use of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes for the purchase of mobile phones. ICA claims that the net sales of mobile handsets have come down by 50 percent and daily collection of the trade has also suffered a lot.
It’s an interesting move considering the fact that with an overwhelming majority of phones still sold at a price point of well under Rs 10,000, the impact on sales would have been quite severe, as claimed.
ICA sent a letter to Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister, India quoting – “The mobile handset sales have crashed and the sales are down in the brick and mortar channel, which is more than 80 percent of our turnover… the daily collection of our trade and industry, which should be around Rs. 350-400 crores is down by 50 percent.”
As of now, the association has just asked for a 30-day window for the validation and has requested the use of old currency notes against a valid ID proof. ICA claims that purchasing mobile handsets against a valid ID proof will help companies track IMEI numbers.
Further, ICA also highlighted the fact that in order to handle demonetisation better, people need to buy smartphones to use digital payments, even as demonetisation has made it difficult to buy a phone on cash. As a side effect, people have turned to non-conventional online portals to buy smartphones, further increasing their exposure to online fraud.
Recently, Government allowed Rs 500 notes for pre-paid mobile rechargesapart from essential services such as water, electricity, highway toll etc. This exemption is valid until December 15th as of now. Further, Government has now withdrawn exchange facility from the banks with deposit and withdrawal still going on.