Demonetization spells doom for Nation
This is the second anniversary of the Demonetization. Two years back on the same day the Prime Minister of India had taken a wrong and insensitive decision, 86% of the currency in circulation, worth 15 lakh 41 thousand crore in the form of 500 and 1000 rupees note, was invalidated and outlawed. This was the decision of the Prime Minister. Naturally then, the direct responsibility of whatever followed in the country rests with none other than Narendra Modi ji.
The Prime Minister gave four reasons for the Demonetization. First, it was black money. Second, that money emanated from the crime and corruption, the corruption will end with it. Third, the terrorist will not get money and fourth, there is fake currency in the market. After two years all the four hypothesis propounded by the Prime Minister have falsified. This was the money of the common people earned by sheer labour and hardship. For the economy that is run through unorganized sector in which 90% is contributed by unorganized areas, the need for cash is inevitable. There is no country in the world whether it is poor or rich, big or small where the transaction in cash does not take place or the trade is not regulated in cash. There is no country in the world where people do not stash away money in cash. We had told the Prime Minister about the danger of being ‘cashless’, because the Prime Minister had talked a lot about getting cashless. We had also told him that it would have severe blow on our GDP, the reality has come to the fore that this money belonged to the common people of the country. The Reserve Bank had announced on 29th August that 99.3% of the currency had returned to it. It means 15 lakh and 31 thousand crore rupees had been deposited with the RBI and only 10,720 crore rupees were missing. The money which was lying with the poor people of the country was not returned despite the assurances given by the Prime Minister. The spectacle of old men, women, mothers carrying their children in their laps trying to get their old currency exchanged in Delhi being beaten by the police still becomes vivid but their money were not taken back.
This is the responsibility of the Prime Minister who maligned the country in the eyes of the world. He had called the hard earned money of the common people to be the black money acquired through crime. Does any criminal or a terrorist declare his/her black money and deposit it in one’s bank account? This is my straight question. Second point, the people could not get new currency but within two weeks of the decision of Demonetization the new currency note of 2000 was recovered in lakhs and crores from Pampore, Kulgaam in Kashmir valley where terror attack took place. Third point, within two weeks on around 26-27 November 2016, 40 crores rupees of new 2000 currency note were recovered from Bangladesh border which were counterfeit. This was the fall out of the Prime Minister’s action. Did terrorism end, has the corruption finished off? That did not take place and so far as that issue of cash circulation is concerned, I want to tell you that the cash in circulation was 72.7% in the country at that time, it stands at 80.2% today. We had told then as well that the cash in circulation is a general phenomenon in every country and we have the data’s of all countries. 80% cash is in circulation in Germany, 80% in Austria, 65% in Australia, 52% in Canada, 90% in India-China. Thus, whatever did he say has proven wrong.
The Reserve Bank has clearly stated how much money is in circulation in the country today. My state question to the Prime Minister is that is he ready to admit his mistake and ask for forgiveness from the country today? We know that this is a futile question, because he has bloated egos, he is insensitive and obstinate and his ministers are maimed and some leaders of the BJP have no option but to hard that whatever decision he took was good for the country. The hardship caused by that this decision and 2% of the GDP collapsed, which former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh ji had said that 1.5 lakh crore loss accrued to the country could never be compensated. The people who are daily wage earners, who labour hard to eke out a living throughout the day got destroyed. The factories were closed, this is the government data which no one can deny. 43% MSME were closed down, around 12 crore people work in those industries out of which 4 crore people are already rendered jobless.
Besides, the Prime Minister is to be told as to what kind of people did you force to queue up before the banks, they were labourers, government employees, small shopkeepers and our mothers and sisters. Around 11 crore Indians continued to stand in the queue before the ATM and the bank for 43 consecutive days on an average. This process continued for 43 days and people were force to beg for their own money and the rule was kept changing – 2000, 4000 and then 10,000 limit of withdrawal. The RBI issued 71 notifications, 64 to 65 circulars came from Ministry of Finance. They had no idea as to what they were doing, because it was an autocratic decision, a decision taken by a single individual. There was no preparation nor was the currency note printed. Even today I want to repeat it that it was the poor, the farmer, the small shopkeeper and housewives who suffered the most. The BJP people harp that it was a good work. It is shameful, if it was a good work then nothing could be worse. The country has 1 lakh 34 thousand branches of banks, there are 6.5 lakh villages and 2 lakh 15 thousand ATMs in the country. 78% of total banks are in the cities, metros and kasbas, only 22% of them are to be found in 6.5 lakh villages and the money from Gramin & Cooperative Banks were not exchanged. Much later some money from those cooperative banks came, which ran into hundreds of crores, which will be probed after the change of power. The poor had no money nor could they get their money deposited in banks, nor could they use it. This is the reality of India.
36.1 % of the currency 2017-18 was detected as counterfeit whereas in 2016 &17, as per the RBI report, it was 4.3%. You can go through the RBI report. I have with me, I have got the numbers. What reply does the Prime Minister have for this? The people who had money went to the banks, the terrorists still have money and the fake currency got minted outside the country. The RBI says how much was captured. It was not that only people stood up in queues, but 143 people lost their lives. This was not all. There were thousands of people lined up in the hospital undergoing treatment, there were people who were suffering from deferent ailments, the families didn’t have money to buy medicine and meet medical expenses. Lacks of marriages broke down due to paucity of cash.
Expressing solidarity with the finance minister I want to keep him out of the debate. Arun Jaitley ji should be out of it, this decision was not taken with his consent, nor was the RBI ask for it. The board meeting of the RBI was called, the members had almost been kept in captivity for four hours, they were forced to giving writing. The ministry was also put in to captivity, the ministers were barred from mobiles phones until the Prime Minister of this country did not make the historic declaration and left the country to fend for itself.
Even the RBI says that money has come, everyone knows it but where does the money go? This is also a question today. What is the reason that despite so much money having been acquired no money is to be found in the bank, it cannot lend money to industry. Money did come but was looted, who is to be held responsible for it? Everyone knows under whose supervision did the bank fraud take place. They say the corruption has ended, the banks of the country were looted our money is not secure in banks and despite all these the Prime Minister had said that out of 15 lakh 41 thousand crores 4 lakh crore were fake. He had said that the 4 lakh crore, which is black money, will come to the government but it didn’t come. The Prime Minister and the Finance Minister want to snatch the dividend which was to be given by the RBI and which has halved. Now the contingency reserve with the RBI. They are taking away 3 lakh 60 thousand crores from the RBI, because their contention proved wrong. Now in order to prove its points the Finance Minister and associates are saying the money is to be appropriated from the RBI, little knowing the fact that the money does not belong to the RBI but it is the money of the country.
(Article based on his Press Briefing on 8th November, 2018.)