The demonetisation move of Modi government has found another strong critique in the form of former disinvestment minister Arun Shourie. The former minister in the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government has said that the demonetisation idea was not “well thought out”, even as the stated objective of the move may be good.
“The stated objective of getting at black money, everybody would say is wonderful. But I don’t think this is the strike, which has been well thought through. This is a strike not on black money. It is a strike on the legal tender of India, on the currency. It is a strike on cash transactions,” Shourie told NDTV.
He further argued: “People who hold the black money or those who have black assets, they don’t hold them in cash. One per cent of Indians hold 53% of total assets in India. 10% hold upto 85%. Now these are the rich fellows, who will be having even larger proportion of the black money. They are not going to put the black money under the mattress.”
While highlighting that the demonetisation move has affected lives of poor citizens, who mostly depend on daily cash for survival, Shourie suggested that the government should have taken other measures like the reform of tax administration to target black money hoarders.
Shourie mocked the claim that demonetisation is a radical move, good for the country in the long run.
“Jumping in well is also radical. Suicide is also radical,” he said.
Shourie has been critical of PM Modi’s decisions on several occasions in the past. Though Shourie said he supports the idea of shifting to a cashless economy, he doesn’t think that demonetisation is the right way to go about it.