Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said he would reassess his support for the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes after December 30. Kumar the president of the Janata Dal (United), also said that a fully cashless economy was not possible in India and noted that the country still had “miles to cover in this direction”, The Indian Express reported.
“Even a developed country has not achieved cashless transactions above 40%-45%,” Kumar claimed. “There is no doubt that the country can be cashless in a limited way now and that it will gradually increase with time. Cash still remains the ordinary citizen’s means of transaction,” he said, according to The New Indian Express.
Kumar, who had previously supported the discontinuation of high-value notes, said the public had been inconvenienced by the move and that the situation was unlikely to improve even after the end of the year. “Unless there is an attack on black money, which means many houses and valuable assets owned by many rich and influential people, no measure will succeed,” he said.
The Bihar chief minister’s remarks come even as one of JD(U)‘s alliance partners in Bihar – the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal – plans a series of protests against the Centre’s move. In November, Kumar had dismissed speculation about a rift in the alliance between the JD(U), the RJD and the Congress caused by his support for the move. He had then referred to the exercise as a “courageous move”.