CPI-M seeks immediate lifting of ceiling on cash withdrawals

New Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Friday asked the government to immediately remove restrictions on cash withdrawals as the 50-day deadline given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expired.

“Since the deadline of December 30 is over, all restrictions on the withdrawal of money by people from their own hard earned money in the banks must be removed forthwith,” the CPI-M said in a statement.

It said that since demonetisation has pushed the “beleaguered and stumbling Indian economy into a tailspin, causing immense misery to the poor and the downtrodden”, who survive on daily cash earnings, some “corrective steps” need to be taken by the government.

The party has demanded immediate debt waiver for farmers, doubling the allocation for MNREGA to ensure 100 days of employment for all those who are enrolled, tax rebate to small and medium enterprises whose economic activity has suffered and removal of all restrictions on deposits and withdrawals of funds from the cooperative banks.

“This demonetisation will lead to a significant revenue loss in many states. To address this crucial issue, the Centre must compensate the state governments for the loss in revenue that they are incurring.

“The borrowing ceiling on the state governments in accordance with the FRBM Act must also be raised from 3-4 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product,” the statement said.

The party said that since the Prime Minister is constantly emphasising on the need to shift to a cashless economy, it is necessary to ensure that people are not burdened with additional costs and all costs on digital transactions should be removed.

It also posed a few more queries to the government.

“The Prime Minister must publicly declare the quantum of demonetised money that has returned to the banks. What is the quantum and value of new notes that have been printed so far? By when will the full value of demonetised money be back in the system through new notes?” it said.

The statement further said: “What is the government’s estimation of the economic loss to the nation as a result of this move? How many people have lost their jobs and livelihood since demonetisation was announced on November 8?

“It is imperative that the Prime Minister answer all these questions and take necessary measures to provide some relief to the vast majority of people who are suffering.”

–IANS

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