After U-turn, Naidu does course correction

New Delhi/Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who had yesterday taken a U-turn saying “it (demonetisation) was not their wish”, on Wednesday refuted media reports that he was against demonetisation, clarifying that he had only “commented on the lapses in the implementation”.

Naidu, in a statement, said he expressed concern over suffering of people even after more than one month due to non-availability of currency. “It is very painful to see reports of old people collapsing while waiting at ATM counters,” he said.

The Andhra Chief Minister, who heads a 13-member committee appointed by the Central Government to look into demonetisation issues, said he repeatedly appealed to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and local bankers to adopt a humanitarian approach to prevent inconvenience to people by delivering more number of small currency notes to rural areas.

Stating that cashless and digital banking transaction is the only alternative to end the crisis, Naidu – who is spending more than three-four hours a day monitoring the cash distribution system – asked the officials to think innovatively to address the crisis and to encourage urban people to switch over to mobile-banking transactions and distribute the available small currency to farmers in rural areas to carry out agricultural operations for the current rabi season.

He said that cashless transactions were successfully implemented in all 29,000 fair price shops in the state and the dealers of FP shops were appointed as banking correspondents to solve currency problem in rural areas.

Addressing a party function of Telugu Desam Party in Vijayawada on Tuesday, Naidu said, “Demonetisation is not our will and wish hence our state people are also facing several problems.”

Highlighting the problem faced by the people due to the move, he said people’s income has decreased and the Centre is unable to provide funds.

“Income has decreased and findings are also not coming from the Central Government,” said Naidu, who had extended his support to the Prime Minister’s decision to ban high-denomination notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000, as “a moral victory for the TDP”.