Scars of demonetisation more visible with time: Manmohan Singh

The former PM asks the NDA regime not to indulge in any ‘further unorthodox’ measures

November 08, 2018 12:15 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 10:20 am IST - New Delhi

“Even after two years, the economy was yet to recover from the demonetisation shock”, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday. File

“Even after two years, the economy was yet to recover from the demonetisation shock”, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday. File

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said the “scars and wounds of demonestisation” were getting more visible with time while Congress President Rahul Gandhi termed the Centre’s 2016 move to abruptly withdraw high-value currency notes “a self-inflicted tragedy and a suicide attack that destroyed millions of lives”.

The Congress party also announced plans for nationwide demonstrations in front of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) offices on Friday to mark the second anniversary of the note ban.

Congress’s publicity committee headed by Anand Sharma also released two short documentaries that would form a part of the party’s 2019 campaign against the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


In a statement, Dr. Singh said the country was yet to understand and experience the full impact of the demonetisation that affected every single person regardless of age, gender, religion, creed or occupation.

“It is often said that time is a great healer. But unfortunately, in the case of demonetisation, the scars and wounds of demonetisation are only getting more visible with time. Beyond the steep drop in headline GDP growth numbers after demonetisation, the deeper ramifications of ‘notebandi’ are still unravelling,” Dr. Singh asserted.

‘SMEs yet to recover’

Observing that small and medium businesses, which were the cornerstone of the economy, were yet to recover from the demonetisation shock, Dr. Singh said: “This has had a direct impact on employment as the economy continues to struggle to create enough new jobs for our youth.”

The former Prime Minister said the liquidity crisis brought about by demonetisation was taking a toll on infrastructure lenders and the non-banking financial services sector.


“With a depreciating currency and rising global oil prices, macro-economic headwinds are also starting to blow now,” he said. “Today, is a day to remember how economic misadventures can roil the nation for a long time and understand that economic policy-making should be handled with thought and care.”

Mr. Sharma said that Mr. Modi had tarnished India’s image globally by calling the demonetised currency as black money.

“This is the peoples’ money, hard-earned money of the Indian citizens. But it [the government] tarnished the image of India globally that the Indian economy runs on black-money,” Mr. Sharma told reporters at the party’s official briefing. “No Prime Minister anywhere in the world in the history of democracy has insulted his country or people in this manner,” he said.

Mr. Sharma also alleged that people in the BJP had prior knowledge of the note ban and had indulged in money laundering. “My direct charge is: it was also a big money laundering project and BJP’s key people were privy to it. The Cabinet was not and the RBI was not,” he asserted.

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