Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to demonetise old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes on November 8 has troubled a lot of people in the country. Even as the majority of citizens have supported the move, there have been several reports in the last one month that make one doubt the very motive of the decision. Is it just a political move?
The ruling BJP and its allies have projected demonetisation as the biggest strike against corruption and black money in the country. But experts have claimed that most of the black money in the country doesn’t exist in the form of cash. Demonetisation may not be the only solution to exposing black money, but the move along with the cashless economy drive has the potential to curb corruption up to some extent.
In the days following November 8, supplementary narratives on demonetisation were also promoted by the government — that was to make the country’s economy cashless and bring every citizen in the fold of banking system. None can claim that these two can harm the country in any way. Yet, no one knows whether these narratives were planned in advance or they were circumstantial necessity to divert public’s attention from the queues and the ATMs.
Considering PM Modi’s history, it is very likely that all his steps before and after demonetisation were prepared in advance, or virtually scripted. One can understand this better by Modi government’s one of the top economist Bibek Debroy’s remark after demonetisation during an NDTV programme: “Don’t think the government is stupid.”
However, PM Modi cannot escape scrutiny, not even the questions raised by the Opposition, media, intellectuals and the general public. Here are 10 questions on demonetisation that PM Modi must answer in the Parliament
1. Were BJP leaders informed in advance about demonetisation?
2. When will all ATMs of the country start giving cash properly? Or, is the government planning not to print the same amount of cash as earlier?
3. What are the government’s plans post December 30? Will the government target Benaami properties?
4. What action BJP will take against it members who have been caught hoarding illegal old or new notes? Or, How the government plans to deal with corrupt BJP leaders?
5. Did BJP purchase lands in several states as it was aware of the demonetisation drive in advance?
6. Was demonetisation a planned move? Or, was it taken arbitrarily?
7. Why was the government mint not modernised before the announcement of demonetisation?
8. Why did the government announce demonetisation ahead of the crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab?
9. What is the government doing to deal with cyber threats that may compromise people’s bank accounts as a large number of them take to cashless transactions?
10. Will the BJP make election spending and sources of funding public and cashless?