Demonetisation needs corrective measures, says MP from Gujarat

"This has to go, otherwise millions of farmers will have nowhere to go for transacting their banking activities,” Radadia said.

Amid the chaos caused by Demonetisation announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, a Member of Parliament from BJP in Porbandar has warned that this move has adversely hit the agriculture sector, which if not corrected can lead to all agriculture marketing produce committees (APMCs) to remain shut for at least two months.

In a statement, Vithal Radadia, MP from Porbandar told The Hindu, “First of all, we have to understand that the agricultural economy cycle is cash-based — from buying seeds to pesticides and fertilizers and labour and selling produce is effected on cash-based transactions.”

He also said that the RBI has barred all district central cooperative banks, which are linked to millions of farmers , from exchanging old notes with new notes and also disbursing new currency notes.

“In my bank, there are one million farmers holding accounts but they cannot do any transaction in the bank because of the RBI’s directive. This has to go, otherwise millions of farmers will have nowhere to go for transacting their banking activities,” Radadia said.

It is to be noted that there are 18 district central cooperative banks with 2200 branches all around the state and cater to millions of people, mostly farmers. Another BJP leader Dilip Sanghani, a former MP and agriculture minister of Gujarat warned, “If the farmers are not allowed cash transactions, entire rural and agriculture based economy will take a severe hit.”

Reportedly, he informed that cooperative dairies in Gujarat make payments to the millions of milk producers through cooperative banks. “In our dairies, payment is made once in 10 days to the milk producers and more than 50 per cent producers ask for cash payment because they have to purchase cattle feed using cash,” he explained.

Reportedly, Radadia and other Gujarat BJP leaders, who are also connected to the State’s powerful cooperative sector, are set to meet the BJP president Amit Shah in Bharuch on Tuesday. Also, Sangani said he would meet Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the issue on Tuesday.

The reports said that the 207 APMCs across Gujarat have been shut since the demonetisation of the higher denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000.

Also, Raghavji Patel, Congress legislator and chairman of Jamnagar APMC  said, “At least for next two weeks, most of the APMCs will remain shut for trading because traders have no money to make payments while farmers are not used to taking cheques.”