Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the use of now-demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes till ATMs are recalibrated and new and small denomination notes made available across the country.Sarkar also said that urban cooperative and state cooperative banks too should be allowed to exchange old currency notes with new ones since these banks primarily serve people in the rural areas."After the sudden demonetisation of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, people across the country, especially the poor, are facing grave cash crisis in their day-to-day lives," Sarkar said in a letter to Modi, copies of which were released to the media on Wednesday.
Sarkar, visiting Delhi to attend a Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo meeting, requested the Prime Minister to allow use of old currency that till better alternatives are made available."Crores of people, including agriculturists, tea garden labourers and unorganised sector workers, fishermen, daily wagers, transport workers, small vendors and traders, who are outside the banking and non-cash system, have become victims."The cash crunch still continues to be serious in semi-urban, remote and rural areas of north-east India, where most banks have no currency notes while Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are non-functional or working slow due to technical issues.People stood in serpentine queues at banks and ATMs since early morning on Wednesday to exchange scrapped currency with new ones or withdraw money.Buyer and traders, especially small businessmen, are facing difficulties due to cash shortage in banks as well as markets.