Notes Ban 'Biggest Scam'; Congress Asks PM Modi To Apologise

02 September, 2017, 00:21 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Randeep Surjewala on demonetisation

He said, "Post-demonetisation that number went close to 54-55 per cent but it has now come back to 45-46 per cent". Former finance minister P Chidambaram, in a series of tweets, chastised the government and said the RBI should be "ashamed for recommending demonetisation".

Narendra Modi had also claimed that the note ban will curb the terror funding and will break the backbone of terrorism and Naxalism.

Insisting that the impact of noteban was "extremely positive", the finance minister said on Thursday, "Confiscation of money was not the objective of demonetisation..."

Measuring the success of demonetisation on the basis of how much cash has come into the system shows "an inadequate understanding", finance minister Arun Jaitley said.

"This seem to be created to help people to convert black money into white money", said Chidambaram. "So more tax payers, bigger tax base, both in direct and indirect tax, more digitisation, lesser cash in the system, integration of the formal with the informal economy".

As the opposition scaled up its attacks on the government after the Reserve Bank of India revealed that only 1 per cent of demonetised currency did not return to the system, the government appears to have shifted the goalpost.

Expectedly, such notes have effectively been held back from depositing with banks or even destroyed during the remonetisation exercise or are still being held by criminals and anti-socials hoping to recirculate these through some channels some day.

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The government had withdrawn Rs 15.44 lakh crore worth of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on November 8 of a year ago.

On RBI annual report's finding that almost 99% of demonetised notes returned to the system, Jaitley said the statistic should not be used to ridicule the demonetisation drive. "Now the prime minister should explain where is that black money", he said. The RBI had to incur Rs 45 billion higher printing costs than in FY2016 on the back of 37% higher supply of notes as well as higher freight costs. The minister also said that consolidation of PSU banks is on cards as the country needs "fewer but stronger banks".

Critics said that the government's response was further evidence that Modi's administration had changed its justification for demonetization to suit the facts. "He must apologise to the country and we will continue to force accountability on this issue", he said.

At a local furniture market in New Delhi, some traders said they felt cheated by the news that most of the abolished currency was back in the system after their businesses had suffered for a cause they were told would hurt the corrupt. "Since November 2016 and until the end of May 2017, a total of Rs 17,526 crore has been found as undisclosed income, and Rs 1,003 crore has been seized", the ministry said.

It is also pertinent to mention here that the Rs 15.28 lakh crore in demonetised notes that the RBI claims was back in the banking system is still a provisional figure. Those who have never fought a war against black money in life, they probably could not understand the goal of this whole process.

A Niti Aayog analysis showed that digital payments in India rose 55% growth in the financial year 2016-17 (FY17) compared to CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 28% during the five year period ending 2015 - 16.

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