BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Government on Wednesday requested the Central team, which is assessing the impact of demonetisation across the States, to increase infusion of Rs 100 and Rs 500 currencies in rural areas which continue to face cash crunch.
The team, led by senior IAS officer Suresh Vashisth, held a meeting with State Government officials, top brass of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other bankers from Odisha. The team was pleased with the initiatives undertaken by the Odisha Government to ease the situation.
''Odisha Government has taken good measures to ease the problems arising out of demonetisation. We discussed several strategies to sort out the problems faced by people. A report will be submitted to the Centre soon,'' Vashisth said.
Odisha is one of the few States to have welcomed the demonetisation move of the Centre. The Central team reviewed the circulation of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes, ATM calibration to dispense cash, withdrawal situation and demand of mobile banking in unbanked gram panchyats besides the overall impact of demonetisation.
Special Secretary to Finance Department Ashok Meena apprised the team about the problems faced in rural areas. ''Though the situation in urban areas has eased to some extent, cash crunch still prevails in rural areas. We have asked the Central team and RBI to provide more volume of small currencies in Rs 100 and Rs 500 denomination to be infused in rural areas,'' he told media persons.
The State Government also reiterated its demand to allow transaction through district Central cooperative banks as procurement and sowing season is underway and farmers would be hit. The RBI Regional Office said the State Government's request for allowing transaction through cooperative banks is pending with the apex bank.
''The cash availability situation has improved in urban areas which is evident from the fact that Rs 100 denomination currencies are back in the deposits. This means people are no more holding on to key smaller currencies such as Rs 100,'' General Manager of RBI, Bhubaneswar SP Mohanty said.
The apex bank, he said, has assessed that Rs 100 is in sufficient volumes in the market while Rs 500 denominations are released in a limited way. The release would be scaled up. The Central team visited Odisha as part of Centre's ground assessment plans.