It all seemed utopian till yesterday. But when Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an announced demonetisation of the R500 and R1,000 notes on Tuesday, for volunteers at ArthaKranti Pratishthan it was a moment they were waiting for the last 16 years.
ArthaKranti founder Anil Bokil formed the ArthaKranti proposal which called for withdrawal of high denomination currency and the existing taxation system except for customs and import duties, routing all transactions through a bank and levying a bank transaction tax (2%) which is then credited to central, state and local governments with transacting banks also having a share. It also proposed that the government make legal provisions for restricting cash transactions up to a certain limit and not attracting any tax.
Bokil had made a presentation to Modi before he became the PM. According to Bokil, the PM was convinced and wanted to know how the proposal could be implemented and what should be the order of implementing these steps and sought feedback from his secretary Hasmukh Adhia on this. “We had no idea it was coming and were shocked like others,” said Bokil, “He (the PM) is a man of action and execution and not just thoughts.” “If you see this move alongwith the Jan Dhan Yojana and the conversion of the country’s post office into a bank and the unified payment gateways system, you realise he is working to a plan and everything is in tune,” he adds.
However, Bokil said demonetisation needs to be accompanied by tax reforms. “We are going to pursue this to the desired logical end,” he Bokil as he hopes the country will move to bank transaction tax.