A revolutionary step may have initial hiccups: Venkaiah Naidu

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New Delhi, Nov 15 Stressing that any shortage in supply of currency is being taken care of by the government, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said that a revolutionary or transformative step may have initial hiccups, but it gives long-term gains.

Venkaiah Naidu

He said the demonetisation of higher currency notes had to be implemented with all secrecy as otherwise the people would have "taken care of" their ill-gotten wealth.

"There is need for ending parallel economy. Our neighbour is hiding, abetting, funding and training terrorists. There is 20 lakh crore of rupees of counterfeit currency in India which is weakening our economy. There are also arm dealers, smugglers...," he said, addressing a legislators' workshop here on infrastructure in the states.

The move will also curb Maoist operations as they "thrive" on black money, he said, maintaining, "Nobody is going to give money to Maoist by cheque."

Referring to the hardships being faced by people with long queues outside banks and ATMs for withdrawing money, Naidu said, "Any revolutionary step or transformative step will have initial problems" and that "wherever there is shortage, it is being taken care of by the government."

He said if the government had given prior information about the scheme, then people would have "taken care" of their ill-gotten money.

"If you had forewarned the people, you know what would have happened. Everybody would have taken care of it (black money)," he said.

On the delay in supply of notes, he said that it takes time to print currency and then supply it to various bank branches across the country.

"The printing of currency takes time. RBI has explained to us that the printing process takes 21 days and then transporting currency notes from the place of printing to local branches of banks takes time," he said.

Naidu said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also asked the army to provide helicopters and whatever is required to airlift the money to the places witnessing shortage of notes, besides utilising banking correspondents as well as the services of post offices.

Noting that there are 82,000 bank branches in the country and 2 lakh ATMs, he said the ATMS have to recalibrated with weight, size and denomination which is "being done".

Naidu said that "ultimately" common man of the country will benefit from the move that will bring "more than Rs three lakh crore" to the government.

"Thereby interest rates will be reduced, prices will be reduced, spending on the poorer will also increase, fiscal deficit will come down considerably," he said.

(With agency inputs)

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