‘What happened to Prophets of Doom?’
ARUN JAITLEY TAKES ON MANMOHAN OVER NOTE BAN CRITICISM
Needed to shake system. DeMo led to formalisation of economy, expanded tax base. What happened to the Prophets of Doom who predicted a 2 per cent hit to the GDP?
— ARUN JAITELY, FINANCE MINISTER
Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the ill-fated and ill-thought demonetisation exercise … The havoc that it unleashed on Indian economy and society is now evident to everyone..
— MANMOHAN SINGH, EX-PM
Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram described demonetisation as ‘catastrophic’
ON this day two years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise the nation with an evening announcement he declared high value Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes invalid.
Demonetisation surprised the nation but sent the economy spiralling into shock from which many are still trying to recover.
This is the Opposition’s line against the claim of success being made by the Centre on the second anniversary of demonetisation.
The Left parties are targeting the government and calling demonetisation a scam. The Congress plans to hold a nationwide protest November 9 to highlight this. But Union finance minister Arun Jaitley narrated the success of demonetisation in a blog written on the occasion.
“Demonetisation is a key step in a chain of important decisions taken by the Government to formalise the economy. Government first targeted the black money outside India. Asset holders were asked to bring this money back on payment of penal tax. Demonetisation compelled holders of cash to deposit the same in the banks,” Jaitley wrote in his blog.
Jaitley also claimed that the enormity of cash deposited and identified with the owner resulted in response being received online through non-invasive methods from an estimated 17.42 lakh account holders.
He claimed that UPI digital transactions have grown from Rs 0.5 billion in October 2016 to Rs 598 billion in September 2018. Jaitley’s narrative was countered by former Union finance minister P Chidambaram who described demonetisation as “catastrophic”. “The consequence of DeMo has been catastrophic. Over a 100 people have died. The GDP fell by 1.5 per cent. The government no longer talks of ‘Acche Din’ but all we hear about is the Hindutva agenda,” he said.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury also directed fire at the Modi government on the second anniversary of demonetisation. Yechury told India Today TV, “Digital transaction could have increased the ambit of taxpayers, but collection of the tax to government treasury has declined. And if this is not true, why is the government hiding the data?"
India Today TV hit the streets to assess the situation two years after DeMo hit India. Digital transactions are still a novel phenomenon for drivers of cycle-rickshaws, e-rickshaw, and autorickshaws the common man’s mode of transport. Bhan Singh, an autorickshaw driver, believes that even after two years, the `2,000 currency note still affects his daily business. Durga Prasad sells vegetables near a residential colony in central Delhi and says that he has not yet managed to emerge out of the loss accrued due to demonitisation. “People are spending less and the business is comparatively slower than what it was before November 8, 2016.”
India Today TV