Centre urged to make more cash available
Hyderabad: Dr J B Raju, president of the Joint Action for Communities, has bemoaned that the sudden demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes has disrupted the lives of lower and middle class and common people all over the country. The Centre has miserably failed to make alternative arrangements to save the teeming millions from their unprecedented suffering, he said.
Speaking to media persons here on Sunday, the JAC president said from the very next moment after the announcement of demonetization by the Prime Minister, the cash-starved people thronged the ATM centers everywhere and waited in km-long queues for withdrawing money to meet their daily expenses. The hapless people were patiently waiting in the serpentine queues without food and water for hours for procuring money. Some people like women, senior citizens and patients, waiting in the queues for hours fell down unconscious and a few of them even breathed their last, Raju said.
He said the pathetic situation remained unchanged even 25 days after the demonetization due to the insensitivity of the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India. Though the government was assuring that the situation would become normal in about 50 days, economic experts strongly feel that it will take at least nine months for return of normalcy of cash withdrawal operations because the RBI could only print 250 crore currency notes per month.
Stating only two percent of people in the country have unaccounted money, the JAC president said the Prime Minister had chosen to put 98% of the country’s population to unprecedented hardship instead of launching a direct surgical strike on the black money holders to flush out the tainted money. Though the government knows very well about black money hoarders, the Prime Minister hurled his demonetization bomb suddenly and punished the teeming millions, he added.
Stating that black money of the country’s millionaires and billionaires was piling up in foreign banks manifold, Dr Raju said instead of bringing that money from abroad as promised again and again, Prime Minister Narendra Modi put the masses to untold misery by announcing demonetization without doing proper home work and foreseeing the hardships of the people. He said other reasons for people’s unending woes were only six per cent of the ATMs were working without being recalibrated. He said while the government was proclaiming that more and more cashless transactions would ease the problem of acute scarcity of currency notes, the problem would persist in the country as majority of people are illiterate daily wage earners and farm labour without any bank accounts.
The JAC president demanded that the Centre take effective measures to flush out black money in the form of gold, real estate and benami transactions. Above all, there are no adequate measures to curb political corruption, which was the main cause of the ills of the country. Dr Raju appealed to the Union government to take steps on war-footing to make Rs 24,000 per week available to the people as promised by it. Besides, the government should also liberalize the norms and raise the limit for withdrawal of cash for marriage functions. -NSS