“Demonetisation will eventually yield better results”, Haseeb Drabu

Srinagar, Dec 31 Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu today said while demonetisation has caused short-term pains to the people, its long-term impact is going to be far more important than what is seen at the moment.

“There are two ways about it, one is a very short-term kind of interpretation where it has caused a lot of distress in terms of transactional demand for money has not been met,” Drabu told reporters here.

“But I take a slightly more long-term view and feel that this is going to set us on a path of much superior digital payment system and (comes) also as a shock to the system which should eventually yield better results. So, I am not negative on it but yes there have been short-term pains,” he said.

The minister further said that the long-term impact of demonetisation is going to be far more important than what is being see at the moment.

The State Finance Minister was here to unveil the Jammu and Kashmir Bank’s calendar for 2017.

Asked whether he and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti were not on the same page over the issue demonetisation as the latter has praised the Centre’s move, Drabu said he speaks as a professional, while the CM has given a general opinion about it.

“Why should one be (on the same page)? I mean demonetisation is a national macro-economic policy measure. It will affect different people differently. I take a view which is professional,” the minister added.

Acknowledging that they can have different views on the same matter, Drabu said: “She was giving a general opinion about it. But even then I do not feel any dissonance”.

The finance minister who will be presenting his third budget next week, said, he would continue with some of the reform measures.

“Last year, I did a lot of reforms on provident fund. This year also, I will continue doing some reforms…basic trend of my budget has been to make things easier for the people and finance should not be seen as a constraining department, but something that aides development.

“But, because I presented the last budget in July (2016) its been only six months and I think this budget will also consolidate and do a stock taking of the previous three budgets. It means a lot” he said.

Unveiling the banks calendar which focuses on the achievement of youth from the state, the minister said “it is great in terms of its timeliness as the counter-narrative that exists today in the world is that we have a world champion (eight-year old kick boxing champion Tajamul Islam) coming out of Kashmir.”

“The biggest challenge that J&K as a state faces is youth.

The image that today is…a youth who has lost its way. The first image that will come to your mind today is of a youth pelting stones, anarchy, social disorder. I do not think it is a political problem. It is a social issue,” the minister said.

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