Tourism activities exempted from Kerala shutdown against demonetisation

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 27 (IANS) Kerala’s ruling LDF, which has called for a statewide shutdown on Monday against demonetisation of high-denomination notes that has left the cooperative banks in turmoil, decided to exempt the tourism industry from the stir’s purview.

State Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Sunday gave directions to all concerned to exempt tourists and tourist vehicles from the shutdown.

Police have been directed to ensure that the tourism sector is not affected. The decision comes at a time when the demonetisation has affected the tourism industry, with increased cancellations seen even as the the three-month peak season has just begun.

The shutdown will be from dawn to dusk, while the Congress-led opposition has attacked the move, saying it is going to cause more inconvenience to the people of the state who have been badly affected by the demonetisation.

The entire top leadership of the Congress party will stage a sit in front of the Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the Governor, to see that the ban on the cooperative sector on account of the monetisation is lifted.

On November 8, the central government declared that Rs 500 and 1,000 notes would no more be legal tender. Two days later, permission was withdrawn for the 1,600 odd primary cooperative societies from accepting or exchanging the spiked currencies, creating widespread resentment in Kerala.

The cooperative banking sector in Kerala is a three-tier system with about 1,600 primary cooperative banks attached to 14 district banks, which are further linked to the apex Kerala State Cooperative Bank (KSCB).

The total deposit in the cooperative banks is around Rs 1.27 lakh crore.