New Delhi [India], Nov 17 : Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the government's decision to demonetise Rs.
500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes to Rs. 2,000 will abandon the misuse of funds for generating black money. "I would like to compliment the bank employees on their commendable job they did 24*7, they have dealt with crore of rupees in last seven days," he told ANI in an exclusive conversation.
Jaitley said that in total 22,500 ATMs have been recalibrated to allow the withdrawal of Rs. 100, Rs. 500 and Rs. 2000 notes. "Nearly two lakh ATMs exist as of now to serve the people with enough cash. In the last seven days, the banks have brought down the rush and there is less panic," he added. The Finance Minister, however, expressed his concern for the common public in the wake of the demonetisation move and said it is extremely unfortunate that some people were inconvenienced.
"In the last few days, we received complains and now we have reduced the figure because we don't want any trouble," he said, adding there is sufficient cash to address the woes of the common man.
The Finance Minister also used the occasion to target the Chief Ministers of non-BJP ruled states for spreading panic among the people.
"Most CMs have used state apparatus to support this move. I appreciate that. Some CMs, however, are spreading panic," he said. Jaitley's assertion came in the wake of West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee issuing a three-day ultimatum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government to withdraw the demonetisation scheme.
The Finance Minister also trained his guns on the "irresponsible" opposition parties for disrupting parliamentary proceedings on this issue.
"I think it is a matter of cold feet that the opposition parties are running away from the debate," said Jaitley.
"The Congress as a national party must support it instead of obstructing. What is the vested interest of the Congress Party to oppose this initiative to curb black money and terror funding?" he asked while categorically stating that there is no question of rolling back the demonetisation move.
Proceedings in both the Houses of Parliament were washed out today over demonetisation issue. The Lok Sabha managed to transact business only till noon while the Rajya Sabha witnessed five adjournments before both the Houses were adjourned for the day.