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Govt Promises More Relief Measures For Farmers For Rabi Sowing Season

Jaitley said loans from banks would increase for agriculture as a huge amount of cash was coming into the banking system

22/11/2016 9:21 PM IST | Updated 22/11/2016 11:04 PM IST
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Kim Kyung Hoon / Reuters

Fighting the cash-crunch caused by demonetisation, the government in India on Tuesday said its focus would now be on rural areas and more measures would be announced for farmers, as situation was normalising in urban areas.

"The situation is normalising in the urban areas. In the next few days, the focus will be on the rural areas so that farmers have enough funds because it is rabi sowing season.

Few decisions were taken yesterday night which will be made public today," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while addressing the BJP MPs in a parliamentary party meeting here.

The Minister said the credit flow from banks would also go up for various activities including agriculture as huge amount of cash due to demonetisation was deposited in the banking system.

Emphasising that demonetisation had a direct relation with the poor, with poverty and with poverty alleviation, Jaitley said this move (of demonetisation) could result in huge jump of public spending in rural areas especially for poverty alleviation.

Assuring that once this remonetisation or the process to provide alternative currency reaches reasonable level, he said the government would ease all restrictions but till then there would be difficulty for some time.

Terming as "a historic step" the move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demonetise high value currency notes, Jaitley said there have been very few decisions which have so much influence on the society, politics and economics.

"Rs 500 and 1000 notes are 86 per cent of the currency.

It takes a long time to print these currencies. Then after this, it has to reach 1.25 lakh branches of banks and also 86,000 active banking correspondents in rural areas. All this was kept secret.

"This also has to reach 1.30 lakh post offices, then it will go to ATMs. There are about 2 lakh ATMs. Look at the scale of operation. The entire operation was kept secret," he told the BJP meeting.

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