Three days before currency ban, Gujarat govt told dairies to go cashless
Gujarat Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shankar Chaudhary confirmed that his government had issued the circular to shift all transactions on milk to the bank.
Three days before the demonetisation announcement, the Gujarat government is learnt to have put out a circular mandating all monetary transactions by dairies through bank transfers. Now, the dairies are citing this very circular, dated November 5, 2016, to push dairy farmers, and customers to open bank accounts.
The Indian Express has a copy of a circular, dated November 12, 2016, issued by the Banaskantha District Cooperative Milk Producers Union (BDCMPU), Palanpur, asking all milk collection centres and unions to deposit dues in bank accounts by Wednesday, and that all buyers pay the unions by cheque.
Citing the Gujarat government circular of November 5, 2016, the dairy union circular stated, “All those consumers/milk producers who have not opened accounts should, with immediate effect, open accounts at the nearest bank branch in the village and operate it for settling milk dues.”
Most dairy farmers attached to Banas Dairy get their dues in two instalments in a month and on November 16, they were due for their first instalment of the current month.
Rajabhai Prajapati, 32, a resident of Nani Gharnal village of Banaskantha’s Deesa taluka, has six bigha of land besides two buffaloes and a cow. He gets paid Rs 12,000 per month for the milk, in two instalments, the last of which he received on October 27, which is nearly exhausted.
“We have no money to grist the grain, to buy groceries or seeds and fertiliser. No one is accepting the old currency notes I have,” said Prajapati, who has a five-member family. They had queued up at Dena Bank’s Bhildi branch for exchange from 8 am to 4 pm on Wednesday, but the bank closed before their turn.
Branch Manager at Dena Bank’s Bhildi Branch Ashutosh kumar Anand said: “Rush from the rural areas is tremendous here. People are protesting when they get notes of high denomination (Rs 2000 bills). We have limited stock of lower denomination notes.”