A war of words over demonetisation

Opposition leaders strongly criticize the note ban, while the government preens over it

GN Bureau | November 8, 2017


#demonetisation anniversary   #Manmohan Singh   #Rahul Gandhi   #Mamata Banerjee   #Narendra Modi   #black money   #note ban   #demonetisation  
Prime minister Narendra Modi
Prime minister Narendra Modi

Prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday batted for demonetisation, while Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called it a tragedy as November 8 marked a year since the note ban took place.

“I bow to the people of India for steadfastly supporting the several measures taken by the Government to eradicate corruption and black money,” said Modi.
 
“125 crore Indians fought a decisive battle and WON,” he tweeted.
 
In another tweet, the prime minister asked people to take part in a survey. “What do you feel about the efforts to uproot corruption & black money.” The respondents were asked to share their feedback on demonetisation directly with PM Modi on the NM app.
 
Finance minister Arun Jaitley, in a facebook post said that November 8, 2016 would be remembered as a watershed moment in the history of Indian economy. 
 
“This day signifies the resolve of this government to cure the country from “dreaded disease of black money”.  We, the Indians, were forced to live with this attitude of “chalta hai” with respect to corruption and black money and the brunt of this attitude was faced particularly by the middle class and lower strata of society. It was a hidden urge of the larger section of our society for a long period to root out the curse of corruption and black money.”
 
Jaitley said that when the country is participating in “Anti-Black Money Day”, a debate was started that whether the entire exercise of demonetisation has served any intended purpose.  This narrative attempts to bring out positive outcomes of demonetization in short-term and medium-term with respect to stated objectives.
 
“RBI has reported in their Annual Accounts that Specified Bank Notes (SBNs) of estimated value of Rs.15.28 lakh crore have been deposited back as on 30.6.2017.  The outstanding SBNs as on 8th November, 2016 were of Rs.15.44 lakh crore value.  The total currency in circulation of all denominations as on 8th November, 2016 was 17.77 lakh crore,” wrote the finance minister.
 
The opposition was quick to take on the government on demonetisation.
 
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted
 
 
“One year since the scam of scams,” he said in a tweet.
 
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee turned her twitter DP black to protest against demonetisation.
 
 
In a facebook post Mamata Banerjee said that demonetisation is a big scam. “I repeat, demonetisation is a big scam. If thorough investigation is conducted, this will be proved. Demonetisation was not to combat black money. It was only to convert black money into white money for vested interests of political party in power.”
 
She said: “Black money became ‘white fund’ for them and the country was plunged into darkness. No black money could yet be brought out from the foreign accounts. In all practical sense, it yielded big, big zero.”
 
“Neither demonetisation could combat terrorism, nor black money nor aid to development of the country. By the devil act of demonetisation, the country has already lost its GDP worth nearly Rs.3 Lakh Crore. Crores of workers, particularly in the informal sector, lost their jobs. Farmers were left to starve. Over 100 people lost their lives,” she added.
 

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