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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 9:

While Odisha government was among the firsts to support the Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s demonetization move, the former today expressed concerns over the currency crunch in the state.

Pradip Amat

“There is acute shortage of Rs 100 and Rs 500 notes. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has stock of currency to be distributed to banks for 4/5 days. People are unable to adopt digital payment system as poor infrastructure remains in the state,” state Finance Minister Pradip Amat said in a statement in the Assembly.

Amat put his statement in the House after Opposition and treasury bench members expressed concerns over people’s predicament on the shortage of currency. Both the Opposition and treasury bench members sought to know on the steps government has taken to ease people’s woes post demonetization.

He further added that banks are getting only one-third of the requirement. The small and marginal farmers might get affected as they are not getting cash for Rabi cultivation.

The primary agricultural co-operative societies and district central co-operative banks are not being allowed to exchange scrapped notes leading to miseries for the farmers, he said.

About 47 per cent of people in 70 per cent of gram panchayats in the state do not have access to banking facilities, Amat further said.

Earlier in the day, the House was adjourned twice over the demonetization issue. The Congress members sought a replying from the Finance Minister on the steps taken by the government to mitigate the plights of people amid cash crunch.