Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday lashed out at the Centre, saying that its discriminatory policy of allowing use of demonetised notes only in Central government agencies has affected the revenue generation of state governments throughout the country.
“You have allowed railways and oil corporations to take the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, but the organisations run by the state governments are not allowed to take the same. As a result revenue collection is badly affected. What justice is this,” Banerjee enquired during a press conference at Nabanna on Monday.
She added that this will affect the financial health of all state governments badly and one should not forget that the Centre’s financial condition will also weaken gradually if the states continue incurring losses.
The Chief Minister also pointed out that co-operative banks were restricted from exchanging Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. As a result, the agriculture sector in the state has been badly affected. There are many areas in rural parts of the state which have no banks and farmers are facing serious trouble due to dearth of money.
The situation in other states, including Gujarat and Maharastra, is also same.
“We give loans to the tune of Rs 200 crore to farmers through co-operative banks. The figure has come down to around Rs 20 crore due to the Centre’s policy. I have received reports stating that fishermen in Sunderbans are in a very critical situation.
“They have no money to buy food and have been forced to eat baked fish,” Banerjee said, adding that already loss of around Rs 3 lakh crore has been incurred in the past 13 days.
She said that the situation would also lead to growth in unemployment and the people working in the unorganised sector are suffering the most.
The issue of chit funds also cropped up at the press conference, as the Chief Minister replied to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attack on the chit fund issue. She said that SEBI and RBI are the Central government organisations. “What were they doing?
Moreover, they [chit fund] mushroomed and picked up business between 1982 and 2010. Those who were actually involved were not arrested. Our people had been arrested in spite of being innocent,” said Banerjee.