Kerala CM to meet Modi on demonetisation

New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 16 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday to seek his immediate intervention in allowing cooperative banks in the state to take part in the ongoing demonetisation drive.

“Close to Rs one lakh crore of business that usually takes place in the cooperative banks has come to a standstill following the decision of the Union government to keep out these banks from collecting currencies that have now been spiked,” Vijayan told reporters in New Delhi after a meeting with MPs from Kerala.

Vijayan’s decision to call on Modi comes as thousands of cooperative banks and societies in the state downed their shutters on Wednesday to protest the way they have been treated in the ongoing demonetisation drive.

Across the state, employees of these societies took out protest marches while the Congress-led Union Democratic Front (UDF) will observe a black day on Thursday against the Centre’s handling of the demonetisation issue.

“The cooperative banks follow the principles of banking as laid down by the Reserve Bank of India, but they are not allowed to take part in the present drive. This is certainly going to be a huge problem for such banks as almost Rs 1,70,000 lakh crore of the common man’s hard earned money is with them,” senior Congress legislator V.D. Satheesan told reporters in the state capital on Wednesday.

“The end-result will be a mass exodus of deposits from these banks, as people will come to know the attitude of the Centre towards these banks when corrective steps are taken. This could well be the end of the cooperative banking sector in Kerala,” he added.

Normal banking operations continued to be hit on Wednesday for the seventh successive day post-demonetisation with people seen queuing up in front of ATMs and banks.