ONE by one the PM’s tall claims come undone – exposed as lies....
The PM’s speeches were initially full of ‘surgical strike on black money’. Then he began speaking more of ‘counterfeit currency’ and ‘terror funding’. Then his speeches became silent on black money and began claiming the main purpose of Note Ban was to make India a ‘cashless economy.’
In the 2014 elections, Modi’s ‘jumla’ was ‘bring back black money from foreign banks’ and ‘put Rs 15 lakhs in each Jan Dhan account.’ Post the 8 November Note Ban, ‘surgical strike on black money’ was the jumla. Now, it seems that black money is forgotten and “cashless economy” is the new jumla. What is the next one?
(Excerpt from a piece by Dhirendra K Jha, Scroll.in, Dec 13, 2016)
FOR a snapshot of how urban daily-wagers are dealing with the impact of demonetisation-induced joblessness, visit Shanti Nagar, a residential hub of labourers in Firozabad, an industrial town in Uttar Pradesh 200 km from New Delhi\ and known for its glass industry, particularly its famed glass bangles.
“For a few days after bad times hit us, we survived on our savings,” said Raeesa Begum, a bangle worker and mother of eight. “By the end of November, we had consumed almost all of our savings. So we sold our bhathhi [household gas furnace used for soldering the joints of bangles] for Rs 500. Now, we have started eating only one full meal a day.”
Apart from the bhathhi, Raeesa Begum has sold most of her household utensils, and on December 5, when this reporter last met her, she was looking for a buyer for the family’s sole bicycle.
(Excerpt, SV Krishnamachari, International Business Times, December 1, 2016)
THE pace at which the demonetised notes are coming back to the banking system is raising a question: will the demonetisation drive result in a “surgical strike” on black money? A report by business news channel CNBC-TV18, citing government sources, says about Rs 11 lakh crore has returned to the system as of November 30, out of a total of Rs 14.18 lakh crore. Indians still have 30 more days to deposit the banned notes with banks.
The earlier speculation by analysts was that about Rs 2.5 to 3 lakh crore of these notes will never return and was seen as a windfall for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and ultimately, the government. However, those calculations could go awry if the trend till now as indicated by the CNBC-TV18 report is any indication.
What about the claims that demonetisation will smash terror funding or stone pelting stopped in Kashmir because terrorists can’t pay them Rs 500 anymore?
Well, the police of J&K claim that terrorists have been found with new Rs 2000 notes! The fact is,
MODI is saying that Indira Gandhi and previous Congress Governments were not ‘bold enough’ to take a decision to demonetize. But that is a deliberate untruth – in fact the BJP itself called demonetization ‘anti-poor’ when it was partially introduced by the RBI during the UPA tenure!
In 2014 when the RBI announced that currency notes printed before 2005 would be withdrawn, the BJP lashed out at that emasure – even though that move did not even come close to causing the chaos that the BJP Government’s has done.
BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi then said:
“Because those who have black money, who live in the cities, or have the means, they will exchange the notes for new ones. But the poor, the aam aurat and aadmi, or the woman who has saved her husband’s money and kept it in an aata ke dabba or hidden in the dal or chawal, their lives will be affected.”
Lekhi said that those who keep their savings in US dollars and other foreign currencies would not be hurt, but those who kept their cash in rupees would be badly hurt. She declared that the move was “an unjustified attack on poor people” and demanded that the “RBI must publish a note on how many currency pieces will be affected, how many of these are in rural India, and estimate the impact of this measure on the poor. RBI must conduct a full and impartial inquiry into the impact this measure will have.”
How come partial demonetization is ‘anti-poor’ when UPA does it, but sweeping, sudden, secret demonetization causing palpable, lasting chaos and distress is ‘pro-poor’? Will the BJP agree for a “full and impartial enquiry” into the demonetization impact, or will it simply demand that we accept the findings of the farcical and biased Modi app survey?