How Jharkhand trumped West Bengal, made note ban an opportunity

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Published: December 12, 2016 2:13:43 PM

At a time when Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government is protesting and demanding the rollback of demonetisation, neighbouring Jharkhand led by Chief Minister Raghubar Das has made note ban an opportunity of the lifetime.

 demonetisation, mamata banerjee, raghubar das, mission cashless jharkhand, mamata raghubar, narendra modi, digital india, jharkhand news, ranchi, ranchi news, ragubar mamata, raghubar das mamata banerjee, nitish kumar, mamata banerjee raghubar das, modi, pm modi, narendra modi, demonetisation impact, demonetisation effectJharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee. Both have approached to deal with demonetisation crisis differently. (Source: IE)

At a time when Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government is protesting and demanding rollback of demonetisation, neighbouring Jharkhand led by Chief Minister Raghubar Das has made the note ban once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Jharkhand government has formally launched “Mission Cashless Jharkhand” campaign. During the launch of the mission recently, Das said Jharkhand took the challenge to fulfil the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India a cashless economy.

The surprise demonetisation announcement on November 8 by PM Modi came as a huge shock for people as it hit all cash-dependent economic activities in the country.

As per estimates, around 86 per cent of the total currency notes under circulation in the country became invalid due to demonetisation — resulting in à massive cash crisis, serpentine queues outside banks and ATMs and massive inconvenience to scores of citizens.

Demonetisation brought with it an unprecedented logistical challenge to print as well as distribute new notes. Some recent raids by I-T sleuths across the country have also exposed bankers-black money hoarders nexus.

In a bid to ease out the cash crisis, Modi government is now promoting digital, cashless transactions on a mission mode. The government has also announced lucrative incentives for digital transactions.

However, the non-BJP ruled states have not responded to PM Modi’s appeal wholeheartedly. On Saturday, the PM appealed to all Opposition parties to promote digital transactions to help people out of the cash crisis. He also appealed to parties to take political credit for their efforts.

The BJP government in Jharkhand has taken several steps to ease out the cash crisis, while states like West Bengal seems to be wasting time in protests. According to Hindi daily Jansatta, Das didn’t let cash crisis hit people of the state for long. Though there were problems in the initial few days as people struggled for cash, the situation improved dramatically in the following days in the state.

According to Jansatta, opposition claims that cash problem in Jharkhand is not very acute as it is a BJP-ruled state. However, this accusation doesn’t hold water. Any crisis presents a government an opportunity to make efforts to solve it or keep playing politics. Jharkhand chose the first.

IE had earlier reported Das as saying that all offices of Jharkhand government will become paperless by 2017 and also efforts are being made to make the state’s economy cashless.

Das said the state government saved Rs 700 crore after it started using e-PoS (Point of Sale) machines at PDS centres. Jharkhand government has asked all its officials to use cashless banking and train others for the same.

On Saturday, the Jharkhand government removed VAT (value added tax) on mobile phones priced below Rs 5000 to promote mobile banking.

In a press release on Thursday, Das said 29 blocks of the state would become cashless by December 30. The CM also appealed to farmers to help make the state cashless by March 31 by using Jan Dhan accounts, Rupay cards and mobile banking.

The cash crisis in other parts of the country can end soon if all state governments proactively start following the Jharkhand example.

(With agency inputs)

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