BHUBANESWAR: Stating that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should admit his support to the demonetisation decision was wrong, Opposition Congress on Thursday requested the Assembly Secretariat to pay MLAs through cash instead of cheque.
“Whatever we get as salary or remuneration should be paid in cash instead of cheque. Otherwise, the MLAs may have to run to banks several times as there is restriction on the amount of withdrawal,” Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said during his speech on Odisha Appropriation (No 2) Bill, 2016.
Initiating the discussion, Mishra said Finance Minister Pradip Amat has admitted that demonetisation would have an adverse impact on the State’s economy. “It was the CM who immediately supported Prime Minister Modi’s demonetisation scheme. Now at least say on the floor of the House that your view on the scheme is wrong,” Mishra said.
The CM had described the Prime Minister’s decision as a bold move on November 9. Mishra said the poor in the State have suffered a lot due to the demonetisation move and agriculture, trade and commerce have been badly hit in the process. Small traders and marginal farmers were the worst victims of demonetisation, he added.
Though farmers were paid insurance benefits one year after crop loss, they are not able to draw the amount from their accounts due to shortage of cash in banks, Mishra said and added this has led to illegal money lending in rural pockets of the State.
Coming down heavily on the CM, Mishra said the Government has failed to provide safe drinking water to people, education to children, minimum healthcare to women and children and water for irrigation.
Alleging that the Government is not responding to the queries of the Opposition, Mishra said the CM has the habit of running away from the House. “The CM has created a world record for not participating in debates or giving his views on any issue. Though the CM claims he is prepared to answer the Opposition in the House, he runs away at the time of reply,” he said.
The Leader of Opposition alleged that the CM is responsible for issues like Mahanadi and Polavaram. The State Government has failed to stop the Polavaram project which is likely to be completed by 2020, Mishra said and alleged that the entire State suffered due to wrong policies of the CM.