Speakers discuss impact and implications of RBI’s disheartening declaration that 99 percent of demonetised currency is back with banks
Opposition parties on Wednesday slammed the Government over the note ban terming the move as a “disaster” and an “anti-national” one, with former finance minister P Chidambaram using Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data to lash out at the central bank. As much as 99 percent junked currency has returned to the RBI.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, too, tweeted that Demonetisation has been a “colossal disaster” that “cost innocent lives” and “ruined” the economy. “Will the PM own up?” he said.
The issue was taken up at APN’s popular debate show Mudda, anchored by Anant Tyagi. Participants included Congress spokesperson Ajay Verma, APN consulting editor Govind Pant Raju, BJP leader Gajendra Solanki, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Manoj Yadav, and renowned economists Prof. Arun Kumar and Prof. JD Agarwal.
Asked if demonetisation was a failure or a success, Prof. Agarwal said it helped the government uncover huge amounts of unaccounted for cash. “A major advantage is that demonetisation helped the government track black money. Large sums of black money were kept hidden by tax evaders.”
“India has now become a less cash economy from a whole cash economy,” he added.
Meanwhile, Kumar was of the view that a step towards a cashless economy is a great step, but the government has to bring in more laws, and provide internet service, electricity and cyber security.
“At present, major industries like real estate, agriculture, infra, and gold have been affected. Sales have come down which has left an impact on the growth of the economy,” Kumar added.
Supporting the contention of Kumar, Verma said the move of demonetisation was a Complete Failure. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi must apologise to the people for not keeping the promise he made to India. More than 120 people lost their lives. None of the big promises have been kept, as India battles the triple menace on multiple fronts as if the note ban never happened,” said Verma.
Raju pointed out that the government lacked proper knowledge of the merits and demerits of demonetisation. “After looking at figures pertaining to the returned currency, it seems as if the advisors of the government didn’t give PM Modi proper in-depth information about all aspects of demonetisation.”
Turning a blind eye to his arguments, BJP’s Solanki, however, claimed that the process has resulted in reduction of human trafficking and regulation of fake currency notes. Stone pelting has also decreased significantly, he said.
SP’s Manoj Yadav said a decision like scrapping or withdrawing high-value notes should not be taken overnight.
“In parts of Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh, tens of thousands of jobs were lost. Hardships were inflicted upon the poor, farmers, workers and housewives of the country,” Yadav added.
Compiled by Deepti Jain
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