Chandrababu Naidu may head CMs’ panel on demonetization

Vijayawada, Nov 28: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is likely to head a committee of chief ministers proposed to be set up by the Centre to study the impact of demonetization of high value currency notes.

The five-member panel will study the post-demonetization situation and its impact on states’ finances. It will suggest measures to mitigate their problems.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely on Monday telephoned Chandrababu Naidu and requested him to head the committee.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief reportedly conveyed his willingness to head the panel.

This move by the BJP-led government is being seen as an attempt to pacify its ally, which was not happy over the manner in which the announcement for demonetization of Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 notes was made without consulting it.

Some TDP leaders including state ministers and MPs had gone on record to express their displeasure over their party chief not being consulted by the Centre.

It may be recalled that Chandrababu Naidu had long been demanding scrapping of high value currency notes to curb black money and check corruption. He had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month.

The TDP president welcomed Nov 8 announcement of Modi but raised his objection to the circulation of new currency note of Rs.2,000.

The TDP leaders initially claimed credit for the demonetization but as the currency shortage became severe and people faced hardships in exchange of spiked notes with the new notes, they publicly voiced their displeasure over the shortcomings in implementation of demonetization.

They said the Centre should have made alternate arrangements like making new currency notes of Rs.500 available to people.

TDP MP N. Sivaprasad, who is known for his antics, staged a novel protest in front of a bank to highlight the hardships faced by people.

State agriculture minister P. Pulla Rao had said that the Centre should have consulted Chandrababu Naidu on the alternate measures to be taken.

During the review meeting with bankers, Naidu also expressed his unhappiness over the difficulties continued to be faced by the people.

Naidu said he never witnessed in his political career such a situation where a problem remained unresolved for such a long time.

Andhra Pradesh is also likely to suffer a revenue loss of Rs.5,000 crore during the current financial year due to demonetization.

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