Charging the Odisha government of creating confusion among the public over demonetisation scheme, Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday said more currency notes of Rs 500 will reach market on Sunday. “I wonder how the state government is creating confusion among the people over the demonetisation issue. There are about 20,000 outlets of SBI alone in the state where money can be available or transacted. The state government should instead cooperate and not create confusion,” Pradhan told reporters on the sidelines of a function.
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Pradhan’s statement comes a day after Odisha’s Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat informed the state assembly that the state is facing acute shortage of small denomination currency notes of Rs 100 and Rs 500.
Replying to the state’s allegation that Rs 100 and Rs 500 currency notes are not available, Pradhan said: “Rs 500 notes will be available in the state from tomorrow. Therefore, people should not hoard more money.”
The Odisha minister had also said that demonetisation had its adverse effect on the state’s economy as farmers, small traders and others face difficulties due to non-availability of currency notes in small denomination.
Countering state’s charges, Pradhan said apart from SBI’s facilities, there are 6,000 common Service centres (CSC) in all the gram panchayats where the banking correspondents are making people aware on the cashless transactions. The ‘Bank Mitras’ in unbanked areas also make people aware about use of mobile phones for cashless transaction.
This apart, of the total 1465 petrol pump outlets in the state, 857 points have ‘Point of Sale’ Machine which can be utilised by the people, the union minister said.
Pradhan also said that of the 53,000 petrol outlets in the country, 30,000 places have point of sale machine facilities with some outlets also providing cashless fuel.
“Now, we have been successful in implementation of cashless transaction by 55 per cent in petrol pumps of Odisha. Remaining places will be covered soon,” he said, adding that the cashless transaction of petrol and gas was only 10 per cent earlier which touched 30 per cent within some days.
He said the government has already announced concession of 0.75 per cent per litre of petrol and diesel on use of e-wallet or cards from January 1.