Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday dismissed apprehensions among women about their gold jewellery being taken away from them by the Central government as a follow-up to the demonetisation exercise.
“I will be the first one to launch an agitation similar in intensity to the statehood movement if the Centre plans any such move,” the CM asserted while replying to a short discussion on demonetisation in the Telangana State Legislative Council.
“Questions would be raised only when one has stash of gold biscuits and unaccounted jewellery. The Centre can’t ignore traditions like gifting of gold and silver coins at family functions, which is prevalent in both the Telugu States as well as ancestral jewellery that is passed on to heirs. Besides, there is a tradition of mother’s jewellery being passed on to daughters,” the Chief Minister said, adding that such wealth can’t be treated as unaccounted.
Blasts oppn charge
In an incisive, analytical presentation of the demonetisation exercise, the Chief Minister tore into the opposition’s charges against him that he had arrived at an understanding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 70-minute November 19 meeting in New Delhi.
“For the first time, somebody has taken the initiative to rid the country of black money, corruption and terrorism, and this merits support,” he said.
“It is imperative that everyone rises above party politics and ideology and supports the note ban move,” the Chief Minister said, and reiterated that everyone should come together to instill confidence among the people rather than try to add to the chaos.
Stating that he was the first politician to speak to the Prime Minister post-demonetisation, seeking clarification, Rao said: “I asked him if the demonetisation exercise was merely aimed at scratching the surface or the government would go the whole length to clean up the economy, and his reply was that he was committed to root out black money and corruption.”
“I will neither support nor oppose any decision blindly. Modi has sought 50 days to bring normalcy in the country in the face of severe currency shortage, and I believe we should give him time,” he said, in a spirited defence of the State government’s stand on demonetisation.
Throwback to T-stir
In a throwback to the statehood movement days to buttress his argument, Rao said people bore the inconvenience when the Telangana Rashtra Samithi organised the 64-day “Sakala Janula Samme,” and the situation now is not very different.
The Chief Minister, quoting from intelligence feedback on people’s reaction, said most sections of society, including Muslims, had thrown their weight behind Modi’s “bold” move.
Speaking on the future benefits following demonetisation, the CM said there would be manifold increase in revenue generation for both Centre and State besides rationalisation of tax structure. “The demonetisation move has already brought about self-discipline among the people,” he said.
On the flip side, the Chief Minister pointed out that the revenue generation in the Stamps & Registration Department had taken a hit, after recording a 39 per cent growth in the wake of real estate boom post-districts reorganisation. “The revenue loss incurred by the State on account of demonetisation has not been worked out yet, but we can expect a clearer picture next month,” he said, adding: “We have to take the negatives in our stride.”
The Chief Minister said about 70 to 100 villages in the State would go cashless in the next 15 to 20 days on the lines of Ibrahimpur in Siddipet Assembly constituency. “It would be ridiculous to think that hard currency would completely disappear from the market. It is just that use of plastic money, cheques, mobile apps and PoS would be maximised,” he said.