• Why didn’t the Government first print enough cash to replace the old notes?

  • Why were the ATMs not configured to match the new notes?

  • The PM keeps saying Rs 100 notes are the notes of the poor – why didn’t the Government print enough Rs 100 notes instead of Rs 2000 notes that are even easier for black marketeers to hoard than Rs 1000 or Rs 500 ones?

  • The cooperative banks are the ones most used by farmers in rural India. Why didn’t the Government allow these banks to exchange money?

  • Farmers dependent on cooperative banks were desperately starved of cash to buy seeds on time for sowing – until the Government belatedly allowed old currency to be used for this purpose.

The Government claims that Note Ban was a necessary operation to cleanse the bad blood from the veins of the economy and infuse fresh, clean blood. The Government has drained 86% of the old blood from the veins – but is telling us that fresh blood is not ready so the country must wait! So the entire country is barely surviving on 14% of the ‘blood’ (cash) it needs.

To use another analogy, the Prime Minister says the pond is polluted so it must be drained. But the new pond is not ready, so the fish (the economy, the common people) are gasping for breath and dying!

Above all, the foremost question raised by people was: why did the Government and RBI shift goalposts – the rules and regulations – so often? If the Government had really planned the move six months in advance, surely it should have foreseen most of the difficulties that would arise and should have designed the rules to overcome the difficulties?


  • In 40 days, there were 60 changes in rules

  • Rules governing the exchange of old notes were changed five times

  • Rules governing withdrawal limits were changed six times

  • Rules governing the use of old notes were changed eight times

The PM, Finance Minister and RBI had assured that people had plenty of time to exchange their money – they need not panic and could wait till the queues thin and do it by December 30. But on 19 December the RBI issued a fresh notification that deposits of more than Rs 5,000 in old notes would be allowed just once per account until December 30, 2016, and that people would be asked to explain the delay in depositing old notes! The RBI withdrew this notification following an outcry.

People commented that if traffic cops changed traffic rules as often as this Government changed demonetisation rules, imagine the chaos and accidents on roads! At the rate the Reserve Bank of India is changing its rules, it should be called Reverse Bank of India.

According to the latest new rule introduced by the Government, people can be fined if they possess any old Rs 500 or Rs 1000 notes after December 30. This rule is absurd. If the old notes have become raddi – scrap paper - after December 30, why is it a crime to keep any rubbish paper?

It became increasingly clear that it is going to take a very long time for sufficient new notes to be printed. This means that for an indefinitely long period of time, people will be prevented from withdrawing any amount that they need from banks. The PM’s promise that the suffering and troubles are only for 50 days is clearly proving to be untrue. The Finance Minister has already started talking about a 3-month or 6-month period instead of 50 days.

With every change in rule and regulation, with every shifting of the goalposts, people’s faith in the assurances of the Government began to wear thin.