My wife, Varsha, gets peeved whenever the attendant at the cash counter offers toffees instead of change. She refuses to accept the toffee-currency and has even offered to pay them back in toffees. But Nana Patekar in the forthcoming release Tum Milo To Sahi does better, he offers a sandal.

I strongly support my wife (and Nana Patekar) in her endeavour against this illegal tender. The reasons:

– Neither the Parliament of India nor the Reserve Bank of India have designated toffees (of any denomination) as legal tender, therefore we are not legally bound to accept it and it is within our rights to reject any such form of pseudo-currency.

– The cost price of the toffee for the retailer is lesser than the MRP. Therefore, it means that everytime a shopkeeper hands us a Re 1 toffee, he stands to make a profit of around 20 paise (or whatever the margin is). Therefore it is in their interest to insist on toffees instead of change.

– For those who don’t have much of a liking for toffees (or the brand of toffees that they offer) it is a lose-lose scenario.

– It is quite unlikely that the supermarket/shop would accept a payment made in toffees (or a sandal in Nana’s case). If no take, then why give?

I agree that could be a genuine shortage of coins in the market, given that so many of them end up stored for years in piggy banks.

Well, here is a business idea, for anyone interested:

A virtual piggy bank. You go to a supermarket make purchases for Rs 99 and pay Rs 100 in cash. As usual, no change. But you don’t have to settle for that unwanted toffee. Just take out your virtual piggy bank card and the attendant will swipe it to add the Re 1 to your virtual piggy bank account. So every time there’s a shortage of change, the money gets added to your account. And one day when you have accumulated enough balance on your card you can redeem it.

If this doesn’t sound very feasible, here’s a simpler way out: Use your credit/debit card. But don’t take that toffee (unless you want to).

  • Abhishek

    Or just pay by card, which also helps reduce black money.

  • Naveen Kaur

    Worse than the the toffee situation is, when the MRP of an item is 499/- or 1199/-. The guy at the counter very conveniently forgets to return the balance of Re.1/- and if you ask for it, he assumes he has the right to glare murderously at you for making this (much valid) demand.

  • Shruti

    I’ve recently discovered your blog so I’m going about the posts in a haphazard manner, but this is the first post I’ve come across in which you’ve referred to your wife by name rather than as the chaiwali. 🙂

    • You are right! Now am wondering what made me do so.

  • Joe Blank

    What are you talking about?
    Have you ever heard of take a penny leave a penny