'Note ban may hit economy'

Prez tells Guvs to ease tensions through wise counsel

'Note ban may hit economy'

President Pranab Mukherjee, among the first to hail Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to demonetise high value currency notes, has said the move would temporarily slow down the economy, despite immobilising black money.

“We will have to be extra careful to alleviate the suffering of the poor which might become unavoidable for the expected progress in the long term,” he told Governors and Lt Governors during his New Year address to them through video conferencing.

“While I appreciate the thrust on transition from entitlement approach to an entrepreneurial one for poverty alleviation, I am not too sure that the poor can wait that long.

“They need to get succour here and now, so that they can also participate actively in the national march towards a future devoid of hunger, unemployment and exploitation,” Mukherjee said. The package announced by the Prime Minister would offer some relief, he added. Referring to the recent announcement of elections to the five state Assemblies, the President said: “We have all experienced, elections are usually marked by competitive populism, electoral rhetoric and vote bank politics.” Through interaction and wise counsel, Governors and Lieutenant Governors could play an important role in easing tensions in society.

“Goodwill must prevail between different communities. In a pluralistic democracy like ours, tolerance, respect for contrary views and patience are a must. These values have to be preserved. The multiplicity in culture, faith and language is what makes India special,” he said.

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