Odisha faces acute shortage of Rs 100, Rs 500 notes: Govt

Bhubaneswar: With the members of both the Opposition and treasury bench expressing concern in the Assembly over the difficulties faced by the people due to demonetisation, the Odisha government today said there was “acute shortage” of Rs 100 and Rs 500 currency notes in the state.

“There is acute shortage of Rs 100 and Rs 500 currency notes in the state. The RBI also did not have enough money for distribution among banks. The RBI has notes stock only for 4/5 days,” Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat said in a statement in the Assembly.

Amat gave the statement in the House after both the Opposition and treasury bench members wanted to know from the government on the steps it has taken to ease people’s difficulties after demonetisation.

Stating that the banks in the state get currency notes one -third of their requirement, Amat said farmers were unable to get required cash for the Rabi cultivation.

The primary agricultural cooperative societies and district central cooperative banks are not allowed to exchange old notes leading to miseries for the farmers, Amat said.

This apart, the finance minister said that people were also not able to undertake digital payments in many places due to unavailability of Internet facilities.

“So far, the people are away from the digital facilities in Odisha,” Amat said, adding that 47 per cent of people in 70 per cent of gram panchayats also do not have banking facilities.

As there is no Internet and mobile phone facilities in many rural and remote areas, the banking correspondents were unable to come to the rescue of the people.

He pointed out that most of the farmers and small traders have their bank accounts in cooperative banks.

Therefore, they have been victims to the demonetisation which affected the state’s economy.

Though the state government has taken several measures to face the situation, they could not benefit the masses in rural areas due to lack of technology, he said.

Earlier in the day, the Odisha Assembly was adjourned twice as the members of the BJD and Congress raised issue relating to difficulties of the people.