Kolkata: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) office in Kolkata to take stock of the situation following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.
Mamata Banerjee asked RBI officials to provide details of currency notes despatched to Bengal, as senior citizens were complaining that even they were not getting cash on a day designated for them.
She said, “Not a single new Rs 500 note has been circulated in Bengal”. As a result, and as a result of demonetisation in general, the people are suffering. Long queues are seen every day outside banks and ATMS.
Mamata Banerjee said, “People cannot access their savings accounts”, and questioned whether even their money in the savings accounts is safe.
She further said, “The whole of rural India is crying, farmers are crying. If food is not available what will the common people eat? Plastic?”
Reflecting the sentiment of the people, she raised the slogan, “Ghar ghar mein shor hai, aam janta ro raha hai!” Continuing in the same vein, she said, “How will people and families survive? There is an acute shortage of notes in the society”.
She complained that demonetisation has caused bankruptcy. She said, “It is very painful that people are unable to purchase medicines”. She also raised serious concerns about the agricultural sector as farmers were unable to buy seeds for sowing crops.
The Chief Minister requested the Centre to “keep all the Rs 10, 100 and 500 notes in circulation”, and most importantly, “to help the people in the rural areas where there are no banks and post offices”.
Mamata Banerjee also empathized with the over-worked bank officials. She said, “My heart goes out to bank employees and officers. All are under severe stress. Sadly, they are victims of circumstance”. She also offered her “condolences to the bereaved families”.
After this, she paid a surprise visit to Asia’s biggest market, Burrabazar, in central Kolkata, where she interact with the people and reviewed the situation first-hand.
Following the Burrabazar visit, the Chief Minister said that “all have expressed deep anguish” about the current market situation.
“People of all castes, communities and creeds belonging to all states, especially Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab, spoke about the big problems they are facing”.
According to her, they said that “for the last 10 days everything is down to almost zero”.
She expressed her deep anguish about the enormous problems created as a result of the decision of demonetisation by the Central Government, saying, “It is a very sad situation”.