Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday on Tuesday took a dig at Narendra Modi government over the much-debated move of demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. As the people across the country continue to face the cash crunch, Chidambaram said, “Bank branches don’t have enough cash today too. Come back tomorrow is the refrain. Govt says all is well.” Chidambaram has been flaying the impromptu implementation of demonetisation. “Immediate fear may dent black money for some time, but it won’t curb the unaccounted currency because despite the ban on high denomination notes the sectors that generate unaccounted transactions are free to do it,” he had said.
Earlier, he had said, “Both black and white economies co-exist in all countries across the world. Though it is not a good thing but you can’t avoid it and in India, it will co-exist because several transactions happen only in cash. For instance, agriculture income in cash legitimates but not taxed, temple income legitimates but not taxed and same happens with organisation like NGOs’ funding legitimates but not taxed. So, you can’t avoid it.” Saying demonetisation has been badly implemented, he said, “No major economy in the world in last 50 years has taken this kind of so-called demonetisation.”
Bank branches dont have enough cash today too. Come back tomorrow is the refrain. Govt says all is well!
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) November 29, 2016
He also said that had he been the present FM, he would have never undertaken ‘demonetisation’ exercise like this. “I would have stopped printing Rs 1000 notes, immediately and phased out Rs 500 notes over 2 years. No major economy in the world has undertaken this kind of demonetisation in 50 years.” “I would have introduced a banking cash transaction tax to keep a trail and would have made high value transactions only by cheque, and not cash,” he said.
Chidambaram said had he been the Finance Minister, he would have resigned from the post if the Prime Minister insisted on demonetisation. “Had the Prime Minister told me ‘I have decided to declare as illegal tenders Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes’, my advice to him would have been not to do it. Don’t take the decision. “I would have given him facts and figures. But, had he still said ‘Sorry, this is my decision and I will do it’, let me tell you quite candidly, I would have resigned,” said the former Union finance minister.