Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik speaks to Modi on farmers plights, seeks RBI's review

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct Reserve Bank of India to review its decision of not allowing District Central Cooperative Banks to exchange demonetised notes and said his government stands committed to every anti- corruption measure that benefits common man.

PTI| Updated: Nov 16, 2016, 16:46 PM IST
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik speaks to Modi on farmers plights, seeks RBI's review

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct Reserve Bank of India to review its decision of not allowing District Central Cooperative Banks to exchange demonetised notes and said his government stands committed to every anti- corruption measure that benefits common man.

"I would request your goodself to personally intervene in the matter and direct the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to review its decision on withdrawal of facilities from the District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCB) and allow them to take part in the implementation of the scheme," Patnaik wrote in a letter to Modi.

He also spoke to the Prime Minister over phone and drew his attention to the farmers' plights following demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. 

Earlier, the RBI had prohibited the DCCBs to refrain from exchanging demonetised notes.

Stating that 44 lakh farmer families, who have taken agricultural loans, have been affected due to the ban imposed by RBI on DCCBs, the CM said this would severely affect paddy procurement.

In his letter, Patnaik also mentioned that the DCCBs have been playing pivotal role in Odisha by dispensing crop loans to the extent of around 65 per cent through their affiliated Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) and catering to the requirement of around 44 lakh agricultural families under Kisan Credit Card Scheme. 

"Withdrawal of the facilities of implementation of a scheme meant for all the banks in the country will adversely affect the farmers in the peak of agricultural operation," Patniak said.

"Since the DCCBs are licensed by RBI and constitute a part of the banking industry, it was construed that the DCCBs are also authorised to implement the scheme," he said, adding that it was interpreted that the DCCBs, being licensed by the RBI, had the authorisation to accept the exchange and deposit of the Specified Bank Notes (SBN) by customers.

But as per an RBI circular dated November 14, the DCCBs are not allowed the above transactions thus leading to difficulties for farmers.

Patnaik also mentioned in the letter that the DCCBs were accepting the demonetised notes from November 10 to 14. "It will result in set back of disbursement of crop loans during the current Rabi season leading to resource crunch for farmers".

"This is further complicated by the non availability of adequate currency of new Rs 2000 and Rs 100 denomenation to meet the demands of farmers. This has resulted in dislocation in payment of wages to agricultural labourers," he said.

The chief minister on Monday had sought intervention of Finance Minister to make distribution of government allowances under the social security schemes hassle free.