Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to penalise tax evaders and contain counterfeit currency has been broadly welcomed as a much-needed step to curb corruption, even though the actual logistics of distributing and exchanging money have left a lot of people angry and without cash. Modi's ministers have relentlessly defended the move.
But a week after the cancellation of the legal tender character of high denomination bank notes was announced, a BJP MP has become the first in the party to publicly criticise the move saying the rural economy had collapsed because of it. He said that farmers who had accounts in district cooperative banks had been facing shortage since 9 November.
Vitthalbhai Hansrajbhai Radadiya, BJP MP from Porbandar said told Rediff.com,"The RBI (Reserve Bank of India) circular not allowing exchange or deposit of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from any district cooperative banks has led to the collapse of the rural economy."
So far, ministers have all claimed that demonetisation has only done good. Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu had harshly criticised the media for only looking at the negative side of things. "TV channels can show the inconvenience caused by demonetisation, but it's not fair to only dwell on it. Taklif accha hai (Trouble is good)," he had said.
However Radadiya said that trouble for farmers will cause chaos. He said, "The farmers, who have to stand in long queues outside banks, are much pained today. They have no usable money left with them. They have no idea what to do with the money they have. If the government doesn't come out with a solution quickly."
The liquidity crunch will remain till ATMs across India are calibrated to dispense the new notes. The entire process will take at least 50 days, the government has said, but can go up to four months, according to experts.
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