Odisha CM welcomes demonetisation move

Bhubaneswar, Nov 9 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday welcomed the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.

“This is a bold step by the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi). Across the globe, there have been policy changes to demonetise higher value currency notes to check terror funding,” said the Chief Minister.

He said demonetisation of higher denomination currency notes in circulation to check black money has been a public suggestion to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) panel since long.

“I am happy that the Union Government has shown the political will to implement it,” he added.

As more than 80 per cent cash in circulation is withdrawn, the Chief Minister said the Union Government should make all efforts for a smooth transition so that common people, small traders, daily wage-earners and those living in interior areas and not having access to banks do not suffer any hardship.

“I am particularly concerned about timely payment in MGNREGS and other pro-poor schemes where payments are made through banks. Three days’ time for allowing old currency in hospitals is too short for critical and costly treatment,” the Chief Minister added.

He said the Union Government should reform the institutional and legal framework, seek better tax compliance, and set up transparent trade regimes so that the big fish do not escape.

He said the state government is committed to supporting all measures leading to transparency in governance.

The businessmen in the state also welcomed the move of the Union government. They, however, said the Prime Minister could have given more time instead of demonetising by Tuesday midnight.

“It is a great move that is in line with achieving a cashless economy. But, the business sector would be affected due to the short period of (notice of) demonetisation. The Prime Minister could have given more time for it,” said Ramesh Mahapatra, President of Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.