MMS calls currency chaos organized loot, Jaitley delivers stinging retort

Former PM urges Modi to come up with pragmatic ways to relieve people’s distress. Jaitley says it is disappointing to hear from people who were in charge when most black money was generated

GN Bureau | November 24, 2016


#Arun Jaitley   #Winter Session   #Parliament   #Rajya Sabha   #black money   #corruption   #economy   #politics   #Manmohan Singh   #Narendra Modi   #Demonetisation  


Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister Arun Jaitley sparred over demonetization in parliament on Thursday. Manmohan spoke of the “monumental management failure” in implementation as well as adverse impact on the economy, while Jaitley countered: “We were not surprised when we heard from those who ran the government between 2004 and 2014 that they didn't like these anti-black money steps. The maximum black money was generated in the country between 2004 and 2014”.

Manmohan Singh – who is, it should be noted here, former RBI governor as well former finance minister – in his short address repeated clarified in his usual mild-manner way that it was not his intention to condemn the move. He, however, in his bullet-point-like intervention, made the following criticisms:

* It has been said that the long-term effects for the economy will be beneficial, but as economist John Maynard Keynes has said, in the long term all of us are dead.

* Sixty to 65 people have lost lives [standing in queues and battling chaos in the aftermath of the currency ban].

* Can the prime minister name any country where people are not allowed to withdraw from their banks their own money?

* In my opinion, this move will hurt small industries and the informal sector. Ninety percent people work in the informal sector. Fifty-five percent people are employed in agriculture. They are hurt.

* GDP can [can] go decline by 2 percent – and this is an underestimate, not overestimate.

* The PM must come up with constructive proposals on how to implement this scheme. I Urge the PM to come up with practical and pragmatic measures to relive the distress suffered by the people.

* Every day new modifications are being announced which do not reflect well on the PM, the finance minister and the RBI.

* Cooperatives banks which have deep presence in rural areas are not allowed to handle [the scheme].

* This is a monumental management failure. It is nothing less than organised loot and legalized plunder.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley retorted, "It is disappointing to hear from people who were in charge of the government when the most black money was generated, most corruption scandals came to the fore.”

 "We were not surprised when we heard from those who ran the government between 2004 and 2014 that they didn't like these anti-black money steps. The maximum black money was generated in the country between 2004 and 2014. Commonwealth Games scandal, the 2G corruption scandal, the coal block scandal all took place during this period."

Jaitley went on to say that the Congress is "manufacturing reasons" to run away from the debate, instead of engaging with the government in a debate over demonetization.

To Manmohan Singh’s assessment that demonetisation will adversely impact the GDP, Jaitley said, "As far as the medium and long term impact on the economy is concerned, including on India's GDP, it is going to be a positive impact. Lot of money that operates in the shadow economy will now be a part of banking structure. The banks will have a lot more to support the economy. The private sector investment which was so far lacking will now be back into the economy."

The finance minister added that the banks which were till now struggling because of the NPA problem would have a lot more money to lend for agriculture, infrastructure, social sector and the possibility of banks lending at lower cost would also rise.

Comments

 

Other News

A fairly reasonable way to solve problems, personal and global

Reason to Be Happy: Why logical thinking is the key to a better life By Kaushik Basu Torva/Transworld, 224 pages

Is Nano-DAP a Catalyst for India’s Green Growth?

Nano Diammonium Phosphate, or Nano-DAP, is a revolutionary agricultural input that holds immense potential for transforming farming practices across varied agro-climatic zones in India. This innovative product is a nanoparticle-based formulation of diammonium phosphate, a widely used fertilizer in the agri

“Everyone, especially every woman, should’ve liberty of being themselves”

In February this year, yet another glass ceiling was broken, when Captain Shweta Singh became the first woman chief flight operations inspector (CFOI) at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Back then, in a social media post, Captain Singh had written: “The opportunity humbles me

India’s first home-grown gene therapy for cancer launched

President of India Droupadi Murmu launched India’s first home-grown gene therapy for cancer at IIT Bombay here on Thursday. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the launch of India’s first gene therapy is a major breakthrough in our battle against cancer. As this lin

The Women of My Country: The Other Half?

1700 in 70: A Walk for a Cause By Gita Balakrishnan Rupa Publications, Rs 595, 208 pages At fifty-three, Git

Cultural Nationalism in India: Explained by Ram Madhav

The Hindutva Paradigm: Integral Humanism and the Quest for a Non-Western Worldview By Ram Madhav Rupa Publications, Rs 395, 440 pages Dr R

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter