Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Sunday lashed out at Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for requesting the Prime Minister to exempt PAN card provision for people in Scheduled areas for bank deposits beyond Rs 50,000.
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While the ruling BJD has been claiming to have introduced bank transactions for paddy procurement, this request made by Patnaik two days ago showed that the state government was yet to fully adopt digital transactions, Pradhan said.
The Union minister was speaking at a function where a number of political leaders including three former MLAs –Rammurti Murtika, Gurucharan Tikayat and Kumarabara Behera joined the BJP.
It is surprising that the Odisha government has requested the Centre to exempt the provision of PAN details for tribal people when digital transactions have been adopted for them in various social welfare schemes, Pradhan said.
As the state government has also been maintaining that paddy procurement is now being done through bank transactions, then what is the need of exemption?, he said.
Moreover, if somebody has more than Rs 2.5 lakh, what is the problem in providing PAN details while depositing in banks, Pradhan wondered and sought to know whether BJD wanted to convert black money into white through this channel for which PAN exemption was requested for.
Since panchayat elections in the state are approaching, the BJD appeared to be worried in the wake of demonetisation of high value currency notes, the minister alleged.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, Patnaik had said exemption of PAN Card provision for deposit above Rs 50,000 would also minimise the crowd in banks, making their operations smoother.