Criticising the Centre for “foisting crisis” on farmers, who have been at the receiving end of nature’s wrath for consecutive years, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday said the “ill-planned” demonetisation could have an adverse impact on the economy.
He said the state’s farmers, who hoped that this time round they will make up for the losses of past years, have been forced to face not a natural calamity but a “government- made crisis”.
“This has been forced by the government knowingly,” he said, adding, “They (BJP) have the most knowledgeable persons and if such intelligent people force hardships on people what more can be said,” he wondered.
Talking to reporters after presiding over a Cabinet meeting, the Chief Minister said, “The meeting was of the opinion that farmers should get relaxation in use of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes...cooperative banks to which farmers are directly linked should get relaxation as money is not promptly reaching bank branches.”
On the Centre’s stand that demonetisation will check corruption, Akhilesh said cases of graft involving new currency notes are already making news in some parts of the country.
“We have also come to know that corruption through new notes has already started. Such reports are surfacing in newspapers and especially on the social media,” he said, claiming the goal of unearthing black money and weeding out fake currency notes will not be achieved.
Attacking the Central government over “lack” of preparations before demonetising high value notes, he said, “Even ATM machines were not equipped for the new notes...the currency exchange can take as long as six months or a year.”
“People will get relief only when markets start functioning properly but till then if farmers and labourers suffer huge losses all the economic statistics will lag behind and so will the country,” Akhilesh said, adding it will impact employment, factory workers and daily wagers the most.
“The entire country is today saying that preparations were not made and everything was changed suddenly. If we believe in them (the Centre) and something emerges from a neighbouring country then they will put the country into problems...if there are no proper preparations, it can spell danger to the country,” he said.
Mandis have come to a “standstill” and soon reports will come how the daily wagers are facing problems, Akhilesh said. Relaxation is being sought in hospitals and also for farmers because the government will be at a loss if any business comes to a halt, he said.
To answer a question on BSP chief Mayawati, he said, “Her only problem is that the Samajwadi Party will form the government again. You should sometimes ask the ‘pathar wali sarkar’ what all she has done for the state... you meet her every day,” he said.