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KCR praises PM, bats for cashless economy

Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has announced a slew of measures being taken by the State Government as part of demonitisation move taken by the Central Government.

Briefing the media persons after chairing the State Cabinet meeting at the Secretariat on Monday evening, KCR said that the State Government had already constituted a State-level Task Force Committee to assess the impact of demonitisation and also to get suggest measures to be taken.

He said that the Task Force Committee, comprising of senior officials, had suggested that all high value transactions like Registrations should be done through net banking.

Further, there should be swiping machines at all Points of Sale (POS), agricultural market yards and even fair price shops.

The Chief Minister said that the government would soon launch TS Wallet designed by the Information Technology Department.

He also circulated a four-page document titled “Implementation Issues” which he had submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his meeting in New Delhi.

He said that District Collectors’ Conference would be convened in the next 5-6 days and district-level Task Force would be constituted, if required.

KCR also announced that Siddipet Assembly Constituency would be made cashless constituency on pilot basis. The constituency has a good municipality and three mandals and cashless transactions could be easily implemented.

To begin with, all transactions above Rs. 500 would have to be cashless.

He said the bankers have agreed to provide required infrastructure and support to establish Siddipet as cashless constituency.

Without specifying any deadline, the Chief Minister said Siddipet would be a model cashless constituency in the “fastest possible time”.

If successful, the Siddipet model would be replicated across the State. He said a small village in Gujarat, Akodara, has turned cashless about two years ago.

The Chief Minister admitted that the demonitisation had an immediate impact on Telangana’s economy. However, the real picture would emerge only in the month of December.

He said Telangana’s economy in terms of cash was of nearly Rs. 75,000 crore with old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes having a share of nearly 86%. So far, he said nearly Rs. 12,000 crore have been pumped back into the system.

Therefore, he said that the shortage of cash would have certain implications on day-to-day life. He also admitted the demonitisation might have a negative impact on State Government’s schemes.

KCR stressed on more supply of lower demonetisation notes and said that Rs. 2,000 note was not very useful for the people.

He said that Rs. 2,000 note was proving to be a show piece with people not being able to buy anything from it. However, when asked whether the Central Government took a wise decision in introducing Rs. 2,000 note after banning Rs. 1,000 citing black money as the reasons,

he said that there was a secret behind introduction of Rs. 2,000 note. He said he could not disclose everything that he learnt from the Prime Minister about the demonitisation issues.

Strongly supporting the demonitisation move, KCR said that the Prime Minister should ensure that the ‘revolution’ was complete and black money in all forms like cash, gold, silver, diamonds, foreign currency, etc., gets dismantled.

He said that the clean-up should be total. He asked PM to ensure that the country is free from black money and corruption.

The Chief Minister said that adequate infrastructure needs to be created to implement cashless economy. He said that the Telangana State was having a total of 5,200 branches of all public sector, commercial, cooperative banks.

There should be a branch for every three-four villages and there should one ATM for a population of 1000-1500 people. Similarly, the swiping machines too needs to be increased.

Most importantly, he said that the mindset of people should be changed to ensure cashless economy.

KCR said that the State Government was yet to take a final decision on payment of salaries to government employees.

He said that the government was speaking to bankers as employees were asking a part of salary in cash. He said there was no problem with regard to payment of Aasra pensions.

Replying to a query on whether the Centre’s decision was unplanned and hasty, the Chief Minister said there was no point in discussing the past.

The scheme has been implemented and 18 days have already passed. It is better to debate the future. He also condemned the criticism of opposition parties on his stand on demonitisation.

He alleged that it was the Congress party which created and encouraged black money in the country. He said that the cashless economy would bring transparency in all the transactions thus increasing the Central Government’s revenues by four to five times.

Presently, the Centre is giving 42% of tax devolution to States and Telangana State is getting about Rs. 13,000 crore per year under this head.

Once the Centre’s revenue increase by 4-5 times, the State’s share in Central Taxes too would increase manifold and there would be sufficient cash to implement welfare schemes, the Chief Minister contended.

The Chief Minister said that the Centre should ensure that common man should not suffer.

He also recommended that farmers and small and unorganised traders should be given amnesty in the demonitisation process.

He also advocated electoral reforms wherein the Central Government should fund elections. He said there must be an end to the ‘vulgar expenditure’ in politics and parties should go for e-campaigns. (INN)

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