Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has some good advice for the country if it wants to race ahead of China in terms of economic development. He has suggested a three-point formula in this regard — that is demonetisation
followed by a clampdown on ‘benaami’ properties and the imposition of total prohibition in the country.
The Bihar CM has openly supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation decision announced on November 8. Kumar now believes that demonetisation has the potential to make India more prosperous than past, provided the note-ban is followed by an attack on ‘benaami’ properties and a ban on the sale and consumption of liquor in the country.
Speaking to reporters in Patna on Monday, Kumar had said demonetisation alone would not achieve the desired objective of curbing black money in the country. Instead, it should be accompanied by the seizure of ‘benaami’ properties and prohibition.
“Demonetisation, prohibition and attack on ‘benaami’ properties can help India go ahead of China,” Hindi Daily Prabhat Khabar quoted him as saying.
“From childhood, we all have wanted to become more developed that China. To beat China, these three must be implemented,” he added.
While many in the country, especially those living in urban centres would ridicule Kumar for even suggesting the imposition of prohibition, the idea does have a sound economic logic. India is still a predominantly poor country and crores of people waste their hard-earned money on liquor consumption every day.
If prohibition is imposed, people would have more cash in their hands. Moreover, they would live a healthy life. This, however, may sound a bit idiotic or useless to the comfort-seeking middle and upper classes of India.
On several occasions after demonetisation, PM Modi has indicated that note-ban is just the beginning of his government’s war against corruption and black money. He has also hinted at an attack on ‘benaami’ properties. However, any action against such properties cannot be taken before the cash crisis in the country following the note-ban is resolved.
In the last two years, Modi government has worked extensively to prepare a legal framework to get back black money hoarded by Indians in foreign banks. PM Modi today asked all its MPs and MLAs to submit details of their bank accounts. This is being seen as a significant step at a time when demands of making political expenditures are becoming stronger.