Demonetisation crisis: Odisha seeks PM’s intervention

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Bhubaneswar: Taking note of the difficulties in crop loan dispensation, payment of paddy procurement proceeds and day-to-day functioning of Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) in the state due to demonetisation, the Odisha government has urged the Prime Minister for his urgent intervention.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said consequent upon demonetisation of high value notes and the restriction on District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) to accept the Sustainable Banking Network (SBN) as deposits and for exchange of such notes, the DCCBs are facing a severe liquidity crunch. Besides, the currency chest branches of the commercial banks are not able to provide currency to the DCCBs to cope with the demands of the farmers at the PACS level for their Rabi operations.

The chief minister further said since PACS are treated at par with individuals in respect of drawal of funds from their accounts with the DCCBs, they are able to draw only Rs 24,000 per week from DCCBs to meet the credit requirement of their farmer members. As a result, they are unable to cater to the demand for crop loans, procurement proceeds and insurance claims pertaining to Kharif-2015.

He also informed the Prime Minister about the difficulties in transferring the procurement price of paddy from the apex State Cooperative Bank account to the farmers’ account held in different nationalised banks, cooperative banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), if it is a Jan Dhan account. Such transfers were rejected in many cases causing enormous hardship to the farmers.

Keeping in view these difficulties, Patnaik urged the Prime Minister to take necessary measures by directing the concerned authorities to make adequate currency available to the DCCBs by the Currency Chest branches of the commercial banks which should be monitored by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Regional Office, to enable the DCCBs to provide crop loans to the farmer members and also pay their paddy procurement proceeds as well as insurance claims.

The chief minister also requested the Prime Minister to lift restrictions imposed on PACS to draw Rs 24,000 per week so that they can cater to the credit requirements of the farmer members.

Besides, he also requested the Prime Minister to allow the procurement dues of the farmers, which is being transferred from a government account, irrespective of the amount, to be credited to the farmers account without insisting on the time consuming process of KYC (know your customer) verification.

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