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Demonetisation reflects lack of foresight: Tripura CM

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Agartala, Dec 16 (IANS) Demonetisation of high-value currency notes is a result of lack of foresight, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said on Friday while taking part in a discussion on the issue in the state assembly.

The house passed a resolution urging the central government to normalise the situation by making available currency notes of various denominations.

Through demonetisation, putting a check on black money is not possible, he said, adding that it would destroy the Indian economy, job opportunities and productivity in the country.

Sarkar said: "According to the World Bank estimates, in India the volume of black money — comprising gold, silver, diamond, real estate, share market and hundi, among others — is over Rs 37.5 lakh crore. And only five per cent of it is in cash."

"So, how can demonetisation of high-value currency notes curb black money?"

The Tripura Chief Minister had earlier urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the use of demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes until ATMs are recalibrated and new and small denomination notes are made available across the country.

He said through this step, circulation of fake Indian currencies would not stop, as "only Rs 400 crore fake notes are in circulation against the enormous volume of black money".

"The Indian government is advocating cashless transactions and terrorists also follow the same system across the world. Farmers’ suicide increased by 40 per cent in Modi’s tenure, and demonetisation has hit agriculture and small industries the most."

Legislators belonging to ruling Left parties, Congress and the Trinamool Congress, after the discussion in the assembly in unison protested against the demonetisation decision.

"Following the sudden demonetisation of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the poor, agriculturists, tea garden labourers and unorganised sector workers are suffering the most, as they are outside the banking and non-cash system," Sarkar said.

People still have to keep on standing in serpentine queues at banks and ATM kiosks to withdraw money.

Buyers and traders, especially small businessmen, are facing huge difficulties due to cash shortage in banks as well as markets, the lawmakers said.

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