**Bhubaneswar:** In a bid to take stock of the present situation in Odisha arising out of the imposition of demonetisation by the Union Government, the three-member Central team on Wednesday was all praise for the State Government’s remedial measures taken in the wake of it.
The team consisting of Ashok Dalwai, Additional Secretary, Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Ministry, Suresh Kumar Vashisht, Joint Secretary, Food & Civil Supplies Ministry and Sourav Jain, Director, Urban Development Ministry discussed and reviewed the situation with the higher authorities at the State Secretariat here as well the RBI and bank officials.
Briefing media after the review meeting, Suresh Kumar Vashisht said, “The Central team has come to Odisha to take stock of the situation arising in the wake of the demonetisation. We’re here to see if there is any problem with the implementation of schemes and programmes here. Also, how far demonetisation has affected the people and what the State Government has taken steps to tackle the situation. Today we discussed and reviewed the situation with all the higher authorities here.”
“We came to know that all have welcomed the demonetisation scheme. If at all any problem has arisen, the State Government has taken good steps to tackle the problem. Especially on November 15 during the distribution of old age pension in the State here, Rs 1.40 crore has been successfully given away to all the beneficiaries. It is a very commendable step taken by the State Government. We’ve also readied some strategies to tackle further problems arising out of the demonetisation. We’ll prepare report accordingly to submit with the Central Government,” Vashisht informed.
Ashok Meena, Special Secretary, Finance, Odisha said, “The Central team came today and discussed with us, especially the problem arising out of demonetisation in the rural areas. From our field inputs and the information passed on by the RBI and bank officials here, the situation in urban areas has eased to some extent, but still persists while there is still problem in rural areas. We have asked the Central team and RBI officials to provide more small currency notes of Rs 100 and Rs 500 denomination to rural areas. We have also apprised the Central team that the paddy procurement has come. Sowing season of agriculture is round the corner. Hence, how to make money reach the farmers needs to be addressed. We reiterated Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s demand to make transaction facilities for farmers through cooperative banks as he has already written to the Centre earlier in this regard.”
Notably, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had recently met the Prime Minister during his New Delhi visit and had apprised him about the problems being faced by people in Odisha, especially in the rural areas post demonetisation.
Earlier, the Odisha CM had already dashed letters in this regard to the Prime Minister and the Union Finance Minister.
The Central team has visited Odisha as part of decision of the Union Government to depute teams of Additional Secretaries/Joint Secretaries /Directors to various States and Union Territories to assess the ground level situation amidst reports of cash crunch and review the currency availability across the State in the network of bank branches, ATMs and post offices.