Five years of demonetisation: Oppn slams Modi govt – Priyanka Gandhi to Shashi Tharoor – who said what

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November 08, 2021 11:15 AM

The Opposition has hit out at the Centre over the over the state of the economy and blamed the Centre's demonetisation policy for it.

The Opposition has hit out at the Centre over the over the state of the economy and blamed the Centre's demonetisation policy for it.

The Opposition has hit out at the Centre over the over the state of the economy and blamed the Centre’s demonetisation policy for it. The attack comes as the Centre’s demonetisation move completes five years today. The demonetisation of high-denomination currency notes was announced by the Narendra Modi government on November 8, 2016.

Condemning the move, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra questioned the government that if demonetisation was successful, why did the black money not come back and why the inflation was not controlled.

“If demonetisation was successful then Why hasn’t corruption ended? Why didn’t the black money come back? Why hasn’t the economy gone cashless? Why didn’t terrorism hurt? Why is inflation not controlled? #DemonetisationDisaster,” she wrote in Twitter.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter to criticise the “ill thought-out” and “poorly implemented” decision. “Five years ago today, an impulsively-conceived, ill-thought out, poorly implemented decision knocked the bottom out of our economy. It’s time to demand accountability. #DemonetisationDisaster,” he wrote.

In another tweet, he wrote: “On the fifth anniversary of the most foolish, whimsical, ill-conceived & poorly-implemented policy ever devised by an Indian government since the days of Mohammad bin Tughlaq, let us bow our head to its victims.”

Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi also blamed the demonetisation for the alleged financial crisis in the country. “Regret to all the countrymen on the 6th anniversary of demonetisation = economic recession. Congratulations to the BJP government on Jashn-e-Bahara Day,” she wrote in a tweet in Hindi.

In another tweet, she called the move of note ban as “Organised loot, legalised plunder.”

Questioning the move, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged that it “decimated the informal sector”. “Economy into a tailspin, the poorest hurt. Informal sector decimated. No black money recovered, but rich got richer. Cash in the economy is the highest ever now! This govt must bear responsibility for pushing India downhill, just for one man’s whim,” he said in a tweet.

Yechury also demanded the withdrawal of excise duties on petroleum products. “Looting the people! Imposing intolerable miseries on people already suffering under the double whammy attacks of Covid & economic recession. Withdraw central excise duties on petroleum products,” said Yechury in another tweet.

Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’ Brien quoted party chief Mamata Banerjee’s tweets criticising the move five years back. “On the night of 8 November 2016, barely hours after #Demonetisation was announced, only @MamataOfficial got it spot on. Five tweets calling out the draconian decision. (Take a look),” he wrote.

Five years after the demonetisation, currency notes in circulation continue to rise albeit at a slower pace even as digital payments surge with more and more people embracing cashless payment modes.

Primarily, banknotes in circulation went up in the last financial year as many people opted for the precautionary holding of cash amid the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting normal lives and economic activities in varying degrees.

Official data points out a jump in digital payments through different modes, including plastic cards, net banking and Unified Payments Interface. UPI of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is fast emerging as a major medium of payment in the country. All said, currency notes in circulation are still in the upward curve.

According to the latest Reserve Bank data, the notes in circulation in value terms soared from Rs 17.74 lakh crore on November 4, 2016, to Rs 29.17 lakh crore on October 29, 2021. The notes in circulation (NIC) increased by Rs 2,28,963 crore on October 29, 2021, from Rs 26.88 lakh crore as on October 30, 2020.

The year-on-year increase on October 30, 2020, was Rs 4,57,059 crore. The data revealed the year-on-year increase in NIC on November 1, 2019, was Rs 2,84,451 crore. The value and volume of banknotes in circulation had increased by 16.8 per cent and 7.2 per cent, respectively, during 2020-21 as against an increase of 14.7 per cent and 6.6 per cent, respectively, witnessed during 2019-20.

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