Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member KVP Ramachandra Rao has attacked Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely for failing to come to the rescue of people in rural areas by making available sufficient cash.
KVP dashed off a letter to Jaitley stating that the cashless transactions had only proved counter-productive as the people were still using cash for their daily transactions.
Describing the cash crunch in the State as a “nightmare” for the people living in semi-urban and rural areas, KVP said the problem was only deepening day by day.
“ATMs in busy business districts are mostly dry in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The situation is no different in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and many other states,” he pointed out.
“You know Indian rural economy and semi-urban economy is cash-based. Any single-minded pursuit of cashless transactions will push this sector deep into the hands of money sharks,” KVP said and expressed concern over the closure of the ATMS set up far away from the premises of bank branches as private banks are emulating the same.
He said people in villages do not need big money and their requirements are always small. In fact, most of the Indian farmers are small and marginal players, he pointed out.
He said PSU banks as well as private banks levying service charges on cash and online transactions, restricting the number of withdrawals and imposing fines on non-maintenance of minimum balances in saving accounts have only worsened the situation.
Stating that the situation is a direct blow to the NDA government’s ‘financial inclusion’ campaign, he advised the Finance Minister to ask National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) of India to give a reality check.