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People support demonetisation: Commerce-Industry Minister Sitharaman

Despite facing hardships people in the country are supporting demonetisation, Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in Varanasi on Sunday while criticising opposition for disrupting Parliament on the issue.

People in the country, despite facing hardships, are supporting the Prime Minister’s demonetisation move, which is in the “greater interest our nation”, she told reporters.

Criticising opposition for disrupting the workings of Parliament in protest against demonetisation, she also said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was raising “irrelevant issues”.

Government last month demonetised high value Rs 500/1000 notes to crack down on black money, leading to unending queues at banks and ATMs amid cash shortages prompting opposition parties to attack the government over poor implementation of the plan and putting people through hardships.

Sitharaman was in the city for the foundation stone laying ceremony of Indian Institute of Gem & Jewellery (IIGJ) Varanasi Extension Campus. She said the sector has different sub-sectors by which gem & jewellery industry provides maximum jobs to people who come from rural areas as also with those from non gem & jewellery background through proper training.

GJEPC has come here to see that the talent which has been cultivated here for years is not lost, she said, adding that it is our responsibility to not only identify and support but ensure that the process is handed over to the next generation.

The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) is taking a big step towards realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s one of the dream project, ‘Skill India’ by setting up the first-of-its-kind IIGJ in Varanasi.

Varanasi is the fifth centre in the country after Mumbai, New Delhi, Jaipur and Kolkata to have an IIGJ campus. GJEPC chairman Praveenshankar Pandya said the apex gem & jewellery body in India has always strived to support the Prime Minister’s vision for putting India on the trajectory of growth through numerous initiatives, one such being ‘Skill India’.

India’s Gem & Jewellery Industry has grown from a mere USD 28 million in 1966-67 to USD 38 Billion in 2015-16. It employs round 3 million people across India.
PTI