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Govt ensures daily wagers, unorganised sector not affected as payday dawns

black money crackdown Updated: Dec 01, 2016 13:57 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times
Demonetisation,Payday,Cash Crisis

A man counts 100 Indian rupee banknotes after withdrawing them from a mobile ATM van in Guwahati on November 25.(Reuters)

The government scrambled on Thursday to ensure steady supply of cash for daily wagers and quell any possible unrest among the large number of people in the unorganised sector who are still out of the banking network.

Labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya met finance minister Arun Jaitley to seek more mobile ATMs and banking correspondents at labourer colonies and construction sites, which employs the highest number of daily wagers.

Most workers are paid on a monthly basis with the cash handed out on the last or first of every month.

The labour ministry also conducted special drive and opened 3.87 lakhs new bank accounts since the government announced demonetisation of high-value banknotes that took out 86% of the currency in circulation.

With banks and ATMs running out of cash as soon as they are being replenished, anger has risen across the country over the cash crunch.

The ministry also approached trade unions to avoid any possible situation that may flare up into violence.

“We have requested them to reach out the workers and create awareness about the digitisation in economy. They are responsible unions and can help us in this situation,” said union labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya.

While the labour ministry is keeping no stones unturned, there is, however, no guarantee that millions of unorganised daily wagers — that constitute 85% of India’s workforce—will get cash in hand at the right time, official said.

“We have requested the finance ministry to send more cash to rural areas and construction sites, but we have not got any assurance,” said a senior labour ministry official.

Dattatreya has also written letters to chief ministers seeking their help.

Banks opened 25.68 crore Jan dhan accounts to bring a large section of Indians under the ambit of the formal economy.

Read| Payday is here: Banks brace for rush, many skip office to withdraw cash

First Published: Dec 01, 2016 13:41 IST