BHUBANESWAR: With demonetisation of high value currencies causing severe public inconvenience, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has sought PAN card exemption for deposits above `50,00 for people belonging to scheduled areas of the State.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Naveen said the insistence for PAN card during deposits above `50,000 has led to immense hardship for tribals who traditionally resort to savings at home.
With the withdrawal of `500 and `1000 currencies, the letter said, tribal families are forced to deposit their legitimate earnings in the banks. Absence of banking network in the scheduled areas is forcing them to travel to far-off places to make their deposits while in cases of deposits above `50,000, not having a PAN card has emerged as a major problem, it stated.
Due to poor presence of banks, Naveen said, a large majority of people living in scheduled areas are not used to banking system. Out of 6,500-odd gram panchayats, almost 4,400 have no presence of scheduled banks. A large number of these un-serviced GPs is in scheduled areas, inhabited by Scheduled Tribe communities and about 90 per cent of them do not possess a PAN card. Naveen said if people from the scheduled areas are exempted from PAN card production, they would not only be spared the hardship, it would also mean less crowd at banks making their operation smoother.
''The decision is crucial for mitigating the undue hardship to people living in scheduled areas of the State, most of whom belong to tribal communities,'' the CM added.
At least 23 per cent of the State's population belongs to the ST category who reside in 44 per cent of the area.