Kerala CM meets Jaitley over demonetisation woes

Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS) As long queues continued in front of banks and ATMs for the sixth day, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet colleague Finance Minister Thomas Issac called on Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi on Monday and conveyed to him the difficult situation on account of spiking of high value currencies.

“We met him and told him our problems. He has not given any assurances, but said he will look into the issues that we raised demanding increased supply of new currencies and also to include the needs of the cooperative banks in our state,” Vijayan told reporters in Delhi.

On Monday too, long queues were seen in front of ATMs and banks. However, the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES), the largest trade organization with over a million members, called off its protest following assurances that the state government will address their issues over demonetisation.

The KVVES had decided to go on an indefinite strike from Tuesday to protest the collapse in business in the wake of demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currencies.

Meanwhile, a delegation led by Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and their UDF colleagues called on the head of the Reserve Bank of India regional office in the Kerala capital and apprised him of the grave situation prevailing in the state.

“We have asked him to see that the spiked currencies are accepted from people who seek medical treatment besides at tourism destinations and in hotels, and briefed him on the need for the RBI to favourably consider the needs of the cooperative banks in the state,” said Chennithala.

The State Lotteries department has decided to stop printing of lottery tickets for the time being as the daily draws are not taking place, following the demonetisation and the huge shortage of currencies that are legal tender.

The Congress-led UDF has decided to observe Thursday as a “black day” to protest the manner in which the spiking of currencies was done, without ensuring proper supply of fresh currencies.

“We do not wish to put our people into more stress, and hence the UDF workers will wear a black badge on Thursday. The only protest that we will stage would be in front of the Accountant General’s office here. We will not put anyone to inconvenience due to our protest,” added Chennithala.

–IANS

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