Chillar is a big business on Eid

Hyderabad, August 31: Small change or ‘chillar’ is a big business on the occasion of Eid. Everyone wants to give alms on a happy occasion like Eid and to do so, you need change, coins or currency notes of small denomination.

The one or two rupee coins might have lost their value due to inflation, but on Eid day they are sold at a premium. Having sensed the business potential, some people in the city have started an organised ‘chillar’ business. You might have noticed some people sitting on the footpaths opposite the Reserve Bank of India with packets of coins. You might have thought that they are selling some old coins, but actually they are selling the new coins and currency notes of small denomination. “We have planned this business about a month ago. Since limited coins or currency notes are given at RBI’s counter, we have started collecting the coins for the last one month,” Venkata Yadav, a resident of Sultan Shahi said.

Most of the people in ‘chillar’ business are small vendors who try to earn some extra money during festivals. “This business lasts for just 3-4 days. People buy coins or 5 rupee or 10 rupees note bundles for the Eid. Most of the time we make good profits and even no body take ‘chillar’, it is still cash. So, there is no question of loss,” Sunita Bai, another vendor said.

The profit marging in ‘chillar’ business is too high. One bundle of 100 currency notes of five rupee denomination is sold for Rs 700, a whopping 20 per cent hike. Similarly, they charge extra Rs 50 for a bundle of 10 rupee currency notes. But coins or ‘chillar’ is the most lucratice business with high volumes. The profit margin in coins’ business is straight 15 per cent.

The realisation that the people are facing huge shortage of coins, especially during the occasion like Ramzan Eid when giving alms is considered a must, gave birth to this business. Presently, nealry 300 people are associated with the ‘chillar’ business and some of them have gone to the extent of taking money on interest to buy coins. “I have taken Rs 5,000 loan on four per cent interest. If all my coins are sold, then I will be able to make both profits and also return the loan with interst,” Raju, a resident of Edi Bazar said.

According to rough estimates, the ‘chillar’ business is likely to have a turnover of Rs 20 lakh to 25 lakh. The footpaths near RBI building and at Siddambar Bazar and a few other areas, the vendors are sitting with pre-counted bundles of 100, 200 and 500 coins.

Therefore, on the occasion of this Eid, not only vendors would earn money, but imagine the income of city beggars who would be richer by almost Rs 25 lakhs. Therefore, this ‘chillar’ is hard business for many.