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Punish bankers diverting new currency; Eatala seeks Rs 5000 cr in small denomination

Expressing shock over diversion of thousands of crores of Rs 2000 notes by some vested interests, Telangana Finance Minister Eatala Rajender today attributed it to the bank officials colluding with influential people. Since hoarding of the new currency was causing serious problem for the people, the RBI should punish those involved in such malpractices, he said and demanded that RBI pump at least Rs 5000 crore in small denomination to Telangana State to overcome the prevailing currency problem and enigma of small notes.

Addressing a Bankers meeting attended by Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatraya and Home Minister Nayani Narsimha Reddy, RBI and other officials here on Tuesday, Rajender said the Telangana State was facing acute shortage of currency in small denomination due to collusion of bank officials. The Finance Minister demanded that such bank officials should be punished with an iron hand based on a report on ground realties. Rajender said out of Rs 20,000 crore, Telangana State so far received Rs 17,500 crore comprising 96 per cent of high value notes of Rs 2000 denomination and only 4 per cent of low denomination. This has compounded the problems of the people to get small change in open market and agony is that the banks and ATMs are not able to cater to the needs of people lining up for hours, he deplored.

Since Telangana State was favoring Cashless transactions, it is imperative that the Centre and RBI should cooperate to help it tide over the current small notes problem, he said. As part of cashless transactions drive followed by Chief Minister, K Chandrasekhar Rao Siddipet turned into a cashless town and efforts are being made to ensure that the people make use of digital transactions. About 83.37 crore families have bank accounts (including active and inactive) in the State, he said adding that about 30 lakh families are still to get bank accounts. (NSS)