Farmers and small traders hit hard by demonetisation: Odisha Finance Minister in assembly

Published: 09th December 2016 09:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th December 2016 09:14 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Finance minister Pradip Kumar Amat today said in the assembly that farmers and small traders have been hit hard because of the demonetisation decision of the Centre.

Making a statement in the assembly on the demonetisation move, the minister said the livelihood and business of the farmers and small traders have been affected because of the decision which also had a negative impact on the state's economy. Besides, demand from the consumers have also gone down after the decision, he said.

The minister said though several steps have been taken to ease the problems faced by the common people because of the demonetisation, 47 percent of the rural people living in 70 percent of the gram panchayats in Odisha do not have access to banking facilities.

The banking correspondents are also not fully active because of problems arising out of non-availability of internet and mobile phones, he said and added that because of these, villagers are not getting the results of the steps taken to bring the situation under control.

Amat said people in a majority of places of the state are not able to switch over to digital payment mode because of the non-availability of internet facility everywhere. Besides, people of the state are not fully aware of digital payment process because of weak infrastructural facilities, he said.

Farmers have been inconvenienced the most because of the decision of the Centre not to allow exchange of demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes by Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS)
and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs), Amat said and added that this may affect the Rabi crops in the State also.

The minister said small and marginal farmers are not able to get the required cash for the Rabi crop as banks are getting one-third of the cash required by them.

Though the Reserve Bank should have currency notes to deal with the requirements of 10 to 12 days, it has stock of only four to five days requirement, he said and added that as per the information received from the district collectors and banks there is acute scarcity of `100 and Rs 500 currency notes in Odisha.

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