Faced with political turmoil on demonetisation, Jaitley dials Nitish Kumar

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Seeking to neutralise political turmoil over demonetisation within and outside Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is likely to shortly notify a committee of chief ministers to suggest ways to make India a less-cash economy.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has already spoken to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to head the chief ministers’ panel, for which Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik are also being co-opted.

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Sources said Jaitley had spoken to all the three chief ministers. Incidentally, the three were among the first to back Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of junking old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

The panel, which will be notified by the PMO, will also review the ground-level situation following the decision to demonetise high-value currency and suggest possible ways to ease hardships and inconvenience.

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Congress advt 2

Besides assessing the public impact, it is to come up with a road map for a less-cash economy.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan would also be part of the committee. However, there is no decision on who will be picked from Congress and Left-ruled states.

The sources said names of chief ministers of Puducherry and Uttarakhand, V Narayanasamy and Harish Rawat, respectively, have been mooted from among the Congress fold.

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The final call on the issue will have to be taken by the party, they said, adding that Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar is also believed to be in the reckoning from among Left states.

While the demonetisation issue has rocked Parliament for past several days, the opposition parties organised nation-wide protest against the issue on Monday.

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