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Telangana CM hails notes ban, bats for state funding of polls

Telangana CM hails notes ban, bats for state funding of polls

Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao today described demonetisation as a “welcome step” but added the endeavour of the Centre should eventually lead to “total revolution” in eradicating black money and corruption in the country.

He also announced certain measures for the state to cope with the situation arising out of the November 8 ban on high-value notes, which has led to cash crunch.

“If black money is to be eliminated in the country, we should move towards complete revolution. There should not be even a naya paisa of black money in the country. Whichever form black money is in, whether in the form of land, diamonds, gold, silver, foreign currency, share market, where ever it is, it should be dismantled completely.

“Then only total revolution can come in the country. When Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) takes a step in that direction, Telangana state and especially the Telangana Government would fully support him,” he told reporters here after a meeting of the Cabinet.

He favoured a “clean-up” of political system with state funding of political parties so that corruption in elections can be rooted out.

“I advised the Prime Minister, political system should also be cleaned up in toto. Party accounts and the funding of elections should be done by the state. Government of India shall fund the election campaign. I also advised him to change the mode of campaign, which I did in GHMC (Hyderabad civic body) elections. My party (the TRS) went on to the streets, but I never went.

“I just addressed a public meeting. It should be like that. With expansion of TV, it is in every house. It can be e-campaign also,” Rao said.

“Vulgar expenditure in parties shall go (after state funding of polls). It shall go. It shall be killed. In the process of clean-up, whole political system shall be cleaned up by the Government of India by way of bringing in very tight (electoral) reforms.”

Rao said he submitted a set of suggestions to Modi during his recent meetings with him on measures to be taken for smooth implementation of note ban, particularly keeping in view the inconvenience being caused to common people.

Rao announced the State IT Department would bring in a ‘TS-Wallet’, a mobile application, towards encouraging people to take up cashless transactions.

The proposed ‘TS-Wallet’ can be used for private transactions not just Government-related transactions.

The government would open bank accounts for those who do not have one and promote cashless transactions to move towards the Centre’s objective of heralding a cashless economy, he said.

The state government would accept digital payments and promote cashless transactions in registrations department, VAT payments, market yards, fair price shops and milk federations, Rao said.

Rao said he urged the Centre to substantially improve penetration of banks, with at least one bank being available for three villages and ATMs more accessible. Adequate number of machines to swipe cards should be available to people, he said.

The state government would soon conduct a meeting of District Collectors on promoting cashless transactions, he said. A task force of senior officials has already been constituted to come up with a report on the issue.

Hailing the example of a Gujarat village which achieved 100 per cent cashless transactions, Rao said the Assembly constituency of Siddipet would be taken up as a model for making it 100 per cent cashless.

The state government has directed the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to increase the number of centres, where lunch is offered for Rs 5 five to the poor, he said.

Observing that the vibrant construction sector in Hyderabad has been badly hit by demonetisation, he said the state government decided to speed up its double-bedroom housing scheme for poor so that those left jobless now would be able to find work.

Saying the cash recall exercise has hit the state’s revenues, he maintained the move will also have impact on ongoing development activities of his Government.

About Rs 75,000 crore was estimated to be in circulation in Telangana before demonetisation and 86 per cent of it has become obsolete following the November 8 note ban, he said, adding Rs 12,500 crore has been pumped back into the system, while bank deposits stood at Rs 32,000 crore.

Hitting out at Congress for their allegations against him, Rao said it is the Opposition party that ruled the country for long. “They are the creators of black money.”

Replying to a query, he said the Telangana Legislative Assembly would be convened in December. The number of days for the session has not been decided yet.

PTI