GUWAHATI, Nov 27 - Expresses its deep anxiety over the “unfortunate happenings in the entire country over the demonetisation issue”, the Bank Employees’ Federation (North Eastern Region) has demanded of the Central government and the Reserve Bank of India to ensure adequate supply of currency notes of Rs 500, Rs 100, Rs 50 and lower denominations immediately.
“We also express deep agony and stark surprise that a peaceful gate demonstration of our members in front of UCO Bank, Fancy Bazar branch last evening was ruthlessly intercepted and stopped by the police, which was unprecedented. This only exposes that our State government authorities are over active to curb the democratic process of public opinion and right to expression, which we condemn,” it said in a statement.
The federation also urged all bank managements to provide adequate manpower to deal with the situation and serve the constituents with legitimate possession of demonetized currency notes.
“Kudos to the bank employees and officers at all levels for attending to the banking public with compassion and a humanitarian outlook. The present crisis has once again upheld our contention for adequate recruitment at all cadres in all the banks as well as the superiority of brick and mortar banking for withstanding any crisis in the system,” it added.
Pointing out that following the Centre’s demonetisation exercise the monetary scenario all over the country has been seriously affected, and that the condition of the common people has become unbearable for want of money for everyday transactions, the federation said that the bank employees and officers had been rendering selfless services to the people till late night, and trying to help customers and general public, “but yet the acute problem faced by the people could not be substantially mitigated”.
In absence of the currency notes of denominations like Rs 500 and Rs 100, it added, day-to-day transactions have become seriously handicapped. Currency notes released so far by the RBI consist mostly of Rs 2000 notes, which practically lacks in exchange value, it said.
“The suffering of the people of rural areas is far greater, as a vast majority of our rural people are still deprived of banks nearby, and do not have bank account of any kind. Lives and livings of these people are faced with extreme crisis, as they are not able to deposit the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currencies, nor are they having chances to exchange. Their condition has seriously been aggravated for some strange directives of the RBI at the instance of government,” it said.
Stating that in terms of RBI circulars, the district co-operative and credit banks (DCCB) and other cooperatives have been excluded from exchanging and accepting demonetised notes, the federation said that DCCBs and co-operatives have links with the rural people, especially as the farmers maintain their accounts with cooperative banks only and cooperative banks are the only institutions for the rural people to deposit and exchange the demonetised currencies.
“As per estimations of the government itself, more than 12 crore of the agrarian populace has access to only co-operative banking sector for all banking needs. If their urges for exchange of notes and deposit of demonetised currencies are denied by the RBI and the government, how will they survive at this hour of crisis?” it asked.