Economy

Shame on RBI for recommending demonetisation: Chidambaram

Former Union Finance Minister and Congress leader P. Chidambaram. File

Former Union Finance Minister and Congress leader P. Chidambaram. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has slammed the Reserve Bank of India for recommending demonetisation, which according to data released by the central bank saw only 1% of the banned currency not return.

 

“Rs 16000 cr out of demonetised notes of Rs 1544,000 cr did not come back to RBI. That is 1%. Shame on RBI which ‘recommended’ demonetisation,” Mr. Chidambaram said in a series of tweets on August 30, after the RBI released its annual report.

“RBI ‘gained’ Rs 16000 crore, but ‘lost’ Rs 21000 crore in printing new notes! The economists deserve Nobel Prize,” he said.

Demonetisation a case of organised loot and legalised plunder, says Manmohan

He also wondered whether demonetisation was a scheme to convert black money into white. “99% notes legally exchanged! Was demonetisation a scheme designed to convert black money into white?” he said in another tweet.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Demonetisation scam,not only dented institutional sanctity of RBI,but also credibility of India abroad," he said.

The government has spent  ₹21000 crore to recover ₹16000 crore. The utterly failed demonetisation is nothing but a disaster in which 104 innocent people were killed while the corrupt made windfall gains," Mr. Surjewala said.

CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury questioned the need for such an exercise when it failed all its stated objectives: combating corruption, black money, counterfeit currency and terrorism. “99.9% of the notes back in the banking system. 100s died in queues. The poor suffered the most. All this for what?” he questioned.

Using “anti-national” tag which is often used by the ruling dispensation for anyone questioning the government, Mr. Yechury said, “Lives & livelihoods lost, the Economy got a shock, workers lost their jobs. India can never forgive Modi govt for this anti-national act.”

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was the first one to react on within minutes of Prime Minister’s address to the nation on November 8 last year, said that the RBI’s revelation pointed at a “big scam.” “Demonetisation was supposedly done to uncover several lakhs of crores of black money. And now what we have got is a big, big zero!”she wrote on a Facebook post. The Trinamool Congress has appealed to the Supreme Court to intervene in the matter and to order an thorough investigation.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 8:32:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/shame-on-rbi-for-recommending-demonetisation-chidambaram/article19588436.ece

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