BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday criticised Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for repeatedly raising the issue of cash crunch in rural areas.
Charging the Chief Minister of creating unnecessary confusion among the public, the Union Minister said the State Government has done precious little to find solution to the problems.
Apart from banks, there are other facilities available for transacting cash in unbanked areas. While commercial banks have appointed banking correspondents in areas not served by banks, cash widhdrawals are also possible at the 6,500 common service centres (CSCs) operating in the states, Pradhan told reporters here.
“Instead of adding confusion to demonetisation problems, the State Government has the responsibility to find solutions to them,” he said.
Pradhan’s reaction was in response to the December 14 letter of the Chief Minister to Prime Minister requesting for adequate currency to cooperative credit structures for meeting the cash demands of farmers.
The Chief Minister had sought intervention of the Prime Minister for adequate flow of cash to district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) from the currency chest branches of commercial banks and lifting the limit imposed on withdrawals by primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS).
Dubbing Pradhan’s statement that the State Government is creating fear among the people for cashless transaction as baseless and a blatant lie, BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Dev said there is no denying the fact that the banking facility in the State is too inadequate.
Besides, the common service centres which the Union Minister referred to do not function due to lack of internet connectivity.
He further said the banks are unable to open new branches in rural areas due to the failure of BSNL providing a robust connectivity in the identified areas.