Nitish sticks to guns on demonetisation


Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar seems not in a mood to change his stand on demonetisation even though the leaders of his party JD(U), which he leads, asserted that there could be rethinking over the support to note-bandi in view of the hardships to the people after December 30.

The JD(U) national president is one of the few leaders of Opposition parties who had supported demonetisation and was left isolated. Even his ally RJD is totally against the move and has announced its agitation programme across Bihar.

Nitish on Monday said that he would hold meeting of the party leaders and analyse the entire situation in due course. “This is a national issue and we have to take a decision very carefully,” he said and added that his strand was known but the party would definitely look into the entire scenario and what result the demonetisation yielded and how it benefitted.

But the CM also made it clear that taking a stand on demonetisation after December 30 or completion of 50 days as promised by the PM was not his priority. “We are going through large scale preparations for 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, being observed as Prakash Utsav Parv, in Patna and Kalchakra in Bodh Gaya in the first week of January. The successful organisation of these vents is our priority,” Nitish

told the media.

He, however, hastened to add his oft repeated remarks that demonetisation alone would not help curbing the black money unless a sustained attack was made on benami wealth illegally amassed by the rich people. Also, he said, total prohibition should be enforced in the country since this trade generated a lot of black money. “The black money in our country is unlimited and organised attack is needed to curb it,” he said.

On the cashless economy, Nitish said it was not possible in India. It could be implemented in a limited area and with some efforts cashless transaction could increase automatically but up to a certain limit. He said even in the USA the cashless transaction was not more than 45 per cent.

Reacting on the proposal of the Election Commission that the limit for accepting anonymous donations be slashed from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000, the CM said that even a single rupee donation should be on record. But, he added, it was up to the Centre to implement such a welcome move of the ECI.



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