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Demonetisation: Team of 27 senior bureaucrats to visit states to assess situation

black money crackdown Updated: Nov 19, 2016 23:41 IST
HT Correspondent

Senior citizens in queues to exchange their old Rs 500 and 1000 notes outside Bank at Mahim in Mumbai on Saturday. (PTI)

With complaints galore of hardships being faced by the public coming in following the government’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination currency, the Centre on Friday formed a team of senior bureaucrats to visit all states to look at the situation on the ground.

The team, comprising of 27 bureaucrats of additional secretary level, will visit every state to gauge the status of implementation of the decision.

The department of economic affairs will decide the dates and duration of the field visit by the bureaucrats. “Their mandate is to assess the problems being faced by the public/banks in implementing the government’s decision and suggest measures to address the problem,” said a senior government official who did not want to be identified.

Though the move to target black money was well intentioned, the Centre was ill prepared to handle the chaos outside banks and ATMs soon after.

There was political backlash as well. A united Opposition has disrupted the Winter Session of Parliament from day one. Even though the BJP has been claiming the support of the masses, there is growing concern that in smaller cities people have started to get restive.

“There are genuine problems being faced by people in villages where banks are at a considerable distance. But the mood is in favour of the PM’s strike against black money,” said a BJP functionary.

The government’s publicity wing, Press Information Bureau, is already going all out to counter the negative publicity surrounding the government’s move through publicity outreach programmes across several media.