Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi demanded on Wednesday that the government repeal a daily cash withdrawal limit and pay out compensation to poor families hit the hardest by a shock recall of high-value currency last month.
Speaking to reporters on the party’s foundation day, Gandhi asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi waive farm loans and give 20% of the government-mandated minimum support price to farmers and pay Rs 25,000 to every woman below the poverty line.
“Repeal the daily withdrawal limit because it is taking away the financial independence of the nation,” he said.
Gandhi has been at the forefront of the opposition to the government’s scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes that has triggered a nationwide cash crunch and is said to have ravaged rural incomes, besides forcing millions of people to line up before banks and ATMs.
“The prime minister’s demonetisation yagna has benefitted 50 families while sacrificing farmers, labourers, youth and small traders. The government must compensate them,” he said.
Gandhi asked the Centre to double payout under the Mahatma Gandhi national rural employment guarantee scheme and provide a 50% discount on sales and income tax to small traders. “PM must tell us how much black money has come back.”
He also asked Modi to present a list of people who had deposited more than Rs 25 lakh in their accounts before November 8, when the PM announced the demonetisation decision in a live national television address.
The government has dismissed criticism of the decision and extolled the benefits of cashless transactions in recent weeks, blaming opposition parties for blocking efforts to drain illegal cash from the economy.