Shiv Sena wants RBI to exchange old notes in district cooperative banks across Maharashtra

Mumbai city news: The party said the RBI should help the banks disburse fresh loans to farmers, which was the objective of the waiver.

mumbai Updated: Jun 17, 2017 00:17 IST
Manasi Phadke
Manasi Phadke
Hindustan Times
mumbai city news,mumbai,shiv sena
Diwakar Raote.(HT)

After supporting farmers’ outfits across the state in their demand for a loan waiver, which the Maharashtra government recently sanctioned, the Shiv Sena now wants the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to exchange old notes worth Rs2,771.856crore in central cooperative banks for new ones.

The party said this will help the banks disburse fresh loans to farmers, which was the objective of the waiver.

Sena minister Diwakar Raote said that demonetisation had hit several cooperative banks, which found themselves unable to sanction farm loans. The condition of at least 14 of these district banks is very severe, he added.

Maharashtra’s district cooperative banks had Rs 2,771.86 crore in old notes as of March 18, 2017. The figure was Rs 5,458.59 crore on November 14, 2016, while the Central government effected demonetisation on November 9.

Raote said, “These banks are the backbone of the rural banking system. The point of a loan waiver is to ensure that farmers get fresh debt. But, demonetisation has strained the cooperative banks. Neither can they invest these old notes, nor use them anywhere in the credit system. The RBI should look into the plight of the farmers in Maharashtra and exchange all the old notes.”

Raote said he had already raised the issue with revenue minister Chandrakant Patil, who had assured that he would talk to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. “If the RBI cannot step in, the state government should help the banks move forward. If needed, the government can take action against people who deposited most of the demonetised notes.”

There are 31 district central cooperative banks in the state. Besides, the district banks of Beed, Osmanabad, Dhule and Nandurbar, and Ratnagiri have some amount of cash in the decommissioned notes. The banks of Pune, Nashik and Sangli are the worst affected, with Rs 573.89 crore, Rs 341.01 crore and Rs 315.8 crore in old notes, respectively.

Soon after the demonetisation, which the Sena bitterly criticised, the party demanded that district central cooperative banks should be allowed to accept and exchange old notes. Party leaders joined an opposition parties’ march to protest against demonetisation and also led a delegation to the finance minister as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi to press their demand.

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First Published: Jun 17, 2017 00:17 IST