New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday asked the Union government to desist from making “meaningless, action-less announcements” on the nationwide cash crunch and suggested that the old Rs 500 currency notes be allowed to remain in use to ease the money crisis.
The Trinamool Congress supremo on Thursday, along with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, set a 72-hour deadline for the central government to roll back the currency ban — a demand which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has already rejected outright.
Calling the present situation in India “an unprecedented calamity”, Bannerjee said there was “no need for anymore faltu (meaningless), action-less announcements. Sometimes blunders lead to more and more blunders”.
Talking to reporters here, she offered “some concrete suggestions which will help restore normalcy and help all people who are suffering”.
“We are looking for solutions…..Government should allow old Rs 500 notes to remain in circulation along with new notes. Also, Rs 100/50/10 notes must be made easily available. Rs 1,000 notes may be withdrawn when circulation improves by December 30. Or at your discretion,” she said.
“The Centre has not thought about the thousands of villages where there are no post offices and banks. The situation is very grave,” she said, adding that tea garden workers are not getting their dues.
“Small businesses are hit. If farmers are not able to purchase and sow seeds, there will be no paddy and wheat production in the country,” Banerjee said.
The Rs 2,000 notes are worthless to common people as they are unable to get change for it, she noted. Her party colleague Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar said issuing of Rs 2,000 currency note has not served any purpose.
Earlier during the day, Trinamool MPs staged protest in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Parliament House compelx. Banerjee also said that her party has decided to work with other opposition parties and, therefore, she has instructed her colleague and senior parliamentarian Sudip Bandyopadhyay to stay in touch with Congress and other leaders. Replying to questions, she said, while her party is against the idea of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) as suggested by some opposition parties, her party would want an immediate debate in the Lok Sabha under a rule that would ensure voting either in favour of the motion or against it.
“No need of any JPC. Earlier also so many such committees came, no one has been brought to justice. JPC is only a delaying tactics,” she said.
Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav has in the Rajya Sabha alleged that the government’s decision on demonetisation was “leaked” to select few and there should be a JPC on this.