Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Nov 21:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today took up the hardship people are facing in the state in the wake of demonetization of higher currency notes and Mahanadi water dispute issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the meeting at Sansad Bhawan here.
“I raised a few issue as far as the demonetization is concerned. Firstly, to allow District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) to exchange and accept the specified bank notes. Exempt the tribal living in the scheduled areas from submission of PAN to make deposits above Rs 50, 000 in specified notes. Allow Women Self Help Groups to fully operate their bank accounts without any restrictions. Issue directives to Scheduled Commercial Banks to open Brick and Mortar Bank branches in all 4401 unbanked Gram Panchayats of the state by March, 2019. Ensure availability of at least 12-14 days of cash requirements with the bank branches in the state especially of Rs 100 and Rs 500 currency notes. Start Mobile bank and temporary counters in rural areas to facilitate transactions in unbanked areas,” Patnaik urged Modi.
After the Union government scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 100 as legal tender to curb circulation of black money and counterfeit currencies, Odisha Chief Minister was among the first to welcome the move.
Besides, Patnaik demanded to restore the earlier annual adjustment process of releasing state’s share in central taxes for providing adequate liquidity to implement centrally sponsored/state plan schemes. In addition to this, he demanded to release the balance capital cost of Rs 397 crore immediately for the five new medical colleges and release the balance central share of Rs 260 crore under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhijan.
Notably, Odisha government today filed a complaint petition with the Union Water Resources Ministry for setting up of a tribunal to resolve the inter-state water dispute.
“I urged the Prime Minister to issue direction to Chhattisgarh government to stop further construction on Mahanadi and its tributaries and act expeditiously to protect the interests of Odisha,” Patnaik concluded.