In another raid on black money, Hyderabad police confirmed the detention of 5 people, including a woman with Rs 95 lakh of unexplained cash, out of which Rs 18,000 was in the new denomination currency notes. This comes after a day of the Income Tax department seizing crores from several premises in Bengaluru among other locations across the country. The search operation launched by over 50 Income Tax officials recovered Rs 5.7 crore in Rs 2000 currency notes. Seven kilogrammes of gold bullion, worth Rs 2 crore was also recovered by the IT officials from a civil contractor.
Now, investigation might be on but it is a little surprising to see that these people were in possession of lakhs of the new currency notes. Now, considering that the government has imposed quite a limit of the withdrawal and exchange of cash, questions do arise whether all of it was white cash. And herein comes the question about what the honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had promised; to erode out black money from the system. Of course, it can be argued that the government officials have raided and nabbed the hoarders of black money in various parts of the country. The only problem here is that the hoard of the money that has been nabbed, a vast majority of it happens to be in the new denomination notes. The demonetisation scheme did not take down these hoarders; careful and planned vigilance did.
And vigilance by officials is what is required to take down the corrupt. Certain questions need to be asked. Questions about how these men and women came into the possession of this kind of cash in the new notes when the Reserve Bank of India has quite clearly put severe limitations with extreme caution on withdrawals. The sources of these notes have to be tracked down. And while it is common knowledge that these hoarders caught in raids might come as a ‘one of kind’ cases but what this actually might indicate is that systems have already been put into place for the illegal circulation of these notes. This implies what economists had feared; black income generation has now started generating in Rs 2000 notes instead of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes overnight, in a fight against black money, fake currencies and terrorism, the move got applauded widely. But has the government been successful in stomping the hoarders of black money? The results of these raids prove otherwise.