Damage-control mode: Maharastra sets out to ease demonetisation woes
A cabinet sub-committee has made several proposals to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).mumbai Updated: Nov 16, 2016 01:10 IST
The resentment among citizens owing to a lack of low-denomination notes seems to have put the Maharashtra government in damage-control mode.
A cabinet sub-committee has made several proposals to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). These include allowing district central co-operative (DCC) banks to accept old currency from farmers like other nationalised banks, which was later rejected by RBI, and extending the daily cash withdrawal limit for licenced traders of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) up to Rs24,000.
A token system at banks for senior citizens and directing private hospitals to accept payments in cheque were the other proposals.
The most important proposal though was of making lower-denomination notes available in large numbers in the state, especially in Mumbai..
The cabinet sub-committee was constituted after ministers raised the issue of inconvenience caused to the people after the demonetisation move in the cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Shiv Sena ministers said proper measures should have been in place before making the decision.
The sub-committee, headed by state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, later in the evening submitted their recommendations to RBI officials. RBI promised to start mobile banking in rural areas.
Mungantiwar said farmers were badly affected as nationalised banks have less branches in interior areas. The DCC banks have sufficient number of branches in rural areas and most farmers rely on them for transactions. The cash crunch faced by the farmers will be resolved if DCC banks were allowed to accept old notes, he explained.
According to a senior minister, traders of APMC markets didn’t have money to buy farm produce owing to a cap on withdrawing cash from banks. Hence, they have asked RBI to allow licenced traders to withdraw cash up to Rs 24,000 daily.
According to sources, state transport minister Diwakar Raote, of the Shiv Sena, said the government should have done their homework .
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis replied that as an ally, the Sena must refrain from criticising the government especially when people are supporting the cause behind demonetisation of old currency. Raote said that he was explaining the party’s stand before the cabinet, sources said.