Not against demonetisation but not enough preparations done: K’taka CM

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said neither his government nor his party was against demonetisation and accused the Modi government for not making enough preparations or thinking about complications that may arise out of its move.

Demonetisation has been done in the past and it is not a “new surgical strike”, he said.

“What I have said in my letters (to the Centre) is that this (demonetisation) has been done without enough preparation. We are not against the demonetisation; our full support is there for action against black money holders,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here.

“Without preparations, Government of India has taken this decision. Before issuing the order they should have thought of all these complications, they have not done that,” he said.

Siddaramaiah, who held a review meeting with state Finance Department officials and bankers last week, has written two letters to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, requesting him to take effective steps to mitigate hardship faced by the public, along with few suggestions.

Reiterating that he was not against demonetisation, the Chief Minister said it has been done previously also, when Morarji Desai was the Finance Minister. “It (demonetisation) is not a new surgical strike, earlier also it has been done,” he said.

The state government under the Negotiable Instruments Act had yesterday cancelled ‘Kanaka Jayanti’ holiday for scheduled and commercial banks and asked them to work to ease pressure after the demonetisation and help the public.

Noting that the common man, those running petty business, farmers and patients at private hospitals were suffering the most, Siddaramaiah said blood banks and cooperative societies are not accepting the old notes.

Highlighting the inconvenience caused to those who have planned marriages, he said non-availability of change to freshly released Rs 2,000 notes in the market is adding to the trouble, with the availability of Rs 500 notes being scarce.

“They (common people) are facing lot of problems, that is why I have written two letters to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the copy was marked to Reserve Bank of India,” he added.