New Delhi: In his first monthly radio address Mann ki Baat since the ban on currency of high denomination, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reiterated that it will take 50 days for the cash crunch to be over and the situation to normalise. He also appealed to the youth to learn about cashless transactions, saying it was "no more difficult than WhatsApp".
- PM reiterated his appeal for 50 days to end the cash crunch
- He said young must learn online banking "no more difficult than WhatsApp"
- He said curency ban was done for the longterm benefit of the poor
"Everyone has asked me to speak in detail on the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes. I repeat what I told earlier, it will take 50 days to completely imbibe the change," PM Modi said.
But meanwhile, young people, who were the agents of change, should take the initiative to usher in a cashless society, he said. They should take to online transactions which are safe and secure and instruct others around them, especially the elderly on the processes to book tickets and make purchases online.
The men and women in small businesses should understand the time was right for them to enter the digital world, he added.
The Prime Minister said he has taken this decision for the poor -- the farmers and labourers who are deprived and who are suffering. A part of the change, he said, would be transferring the salaries of labourers and farm workers in their banks. This will stop the problem of non-payment of minimum wages.
"We want labourers of the country to open bank accounts, deposit their salary in these accounts so that the minimum wage act is followed. Once you have bank accounts, you can use e-wallet facility using any mobile phone," he said.
The government's announcement banning currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000, aimed at flushing out black money, on November 8 has witnessed huge queues outside banks and ATMs since. The matter has become a full-blown political controversy, with the opposition calling a nationwide protest on Monday, highlighting the problems the common man is facing.
The government's move, meant to flush out black money, however, has largely received support from the people.
Appealing to the people to be patient and make the transition to a cashless society, he said, "When I had taken the decision (to ban currency of high denomination), I had said that it would be full of difficulties... It would take time to overcome problems we have been facing for the last 70 years. It will not be easy."