Stand up against demonetisation, rather than falling silent: Mamata Banerjee told RBI Governor Urjit Patel

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Kolkata | Updated: December 15, 2016 7:49:32 PM

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday urged Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel to "stand up against the demonetisation onslaught" against the common people, rather than 'falling silent and remaining opaque'.

mamata-l-ptiShe has been criticising RBI on the way demonetisation is being implemented. She also criticised Patel’s ‘silence’ on the issue. (Source: PTI)

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday urged Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel to “stand up against the demonetisation onslaught” against the common people, rather than ‘falling silent and remaining opaque’. “Why they are silent (on demonetisation issue)? I told him on behalf of the common people that they (RBI) should find a solution to the prevailing cash crisis, which has been created by them,” Banerjee told mediapersons after holding an hour-long meeting with Patel at the state secretariat here. Patel met Banerjee and state finance minister Amit Mitra after RBI’s central board meet in Kolkata. This was the first meeting between the RBI governor and Banerjee, who has been vehemently opposing the Narendra Modi government’s move to demonetise high-value currency notes.

“As the governor of the Reserve Bank of India, an autonomous institution with a great history,… we expect you to stand up against this demonetisation onslaught against the common people of the nation at this moment of crisis, rather than falling silent and remaining opaque,” Banerjee told Patel in her letter.

She has been criticising RBI on the way demonetisation is being implemented. She also criticised Patel’s ‘silence’ on the issue.

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In the five-page letter, which is made available to the media, the Trinamool Congress chief sought to know the “nature of allocation of new currency” to each state. “We would also like to know from you the nature of allocation of new currency to each of the states in a spirit of transparency and accountability, since there are serious concerns of political discrimination amongst states,” she said.

“It (RBI) is a big institution. It should not be used or misused,” Banerjee told reporters on Thursday. Earlier, she raised the issue of RBI’s ‘discrimination’ in disbursing new currency notes to West Bengal.

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Banerjee, in her letter, also said the country has been going through an unprecedented misery and suffering due to “cruel misadventure of demonetisation” which has not been seen in any modern democracy.

“You are perhaps aware that already five crore of workers across the country and across the sectors are facing unemployment and hunger. Unorganised sector of the country which provides two-third jobs in the country has literally collapsed,” she said. “The tea workers of West Bengal are dying due to non-payment of wages over a fortnight. The jute workers of our state have lost their jobs,” she added.

It is customary for an RBI governor to meet the chief minister when he visits a state for a board meeting. Banerjee, however, had not met former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on the last few occasions.

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