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Narendra Modi’s failed demonetisation policy: Congress demands apology

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On August 29, Congress demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that he lied to the country over the demonetisation issue. This came to light after a report by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stated that 99.3% of all the 500 and 1,000 currency notes scrapped in November 2016 returned to the banking system.

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On account of this, Congress stated that the return of almost all the junked notes meant that the government had failed to deliver its touted promises that included unearthing black money, checking terror financing and eradicating fake currency as promised by Modi while announcing the noteban.

Lashing out at the Centre, the opposition party reiterated that India had to pay a “huge price” for demonetising a bulk of currency that caused huge repercussions in the country upon the announcement made by Modi on 8 November, 2016.

Former finance minister P Chidambaram alleged that more than 100 lives were lost and lakhs of jobs were destroyed because of businesses taking a hit after demonetisation. “The Indian economy lost 1.5 percent of GDP growth that accounted for a loss of Rs 2.25 lakh crore a year,” he said.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala reiterated that the prime minister, in his 2017 Independence Day speech, had claimed that Rs 3 lakh crore unaccounted money would come back to the system.
“Modiji, will you apologise for that lie now? (The) RBI report again proves that demonetisation was a ‘Modi-made disaster’ of epic proportions. 99.30 percent of demonetised money returns,” he said.

After a tiresome, long period of counting of returned bank notes, the RBI, on August 29 stated that as much as 99.3 percent of the junked notes had made their way back into the banking system.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said to the reporters at an AICC briefing, “We would like to ask the prime minister about who is responsible for all this. The prime minister should take moral responsibility for this. Had it been any other country, the prime minister would have resigned. Prime Minister Modi should also have resigned from his post on moral grounds, but expecting that from him would be too much. The prime minister should at least apologise to the country for the manner in which he conducted surgical strikes on the country’s economy.”

In a series of tweets, Chidambaram took to Twitter to denounce the actions of Modi with regards to the losses as well.

tewari went on to term the announcement of demonetisation as a ‘Tughlaqi Farman’ while questioning what it had really achieved and alleged that it wiped out the MSME, cottage industry, tiny job sectors. “Crores of daily wage earners lost their jobs and the country lost 1.5 pc of GDP growth that translates into Rs 2.25 lakh crore per year,” he claimed.

Tewari alleged that over 100 people died standing in queues as a consequence of what he described as a “Mughal Monarch’s” attitude towards its people.

“We would like to ask the prime minister who is going to answer, who is accountable for this monumental folly which cost pain to… 125 crore Indians, destroyed the Indian economy, demolished India’s global image and brought absolutely no gain to the country,” he said.

As a consequence of the demonetisation exercise, the dividend paid by the RBI to the government of India was halved from Rs 65,876 crore in 2015-2016 to Rs 30,659 crore in 2016-2017, Tewari claimed.

“This entire elaborate theory which was built that demonetisation is going to result in a cash-less economy, has been blown out of the water by the RBI figure,” he said.

“Banks received Rs 15.31 lakh crore or 99.3 percent of the Rs 15.41 lakh crore worth Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that were in circulation on 8 November, 2016 – the day when the note ban was announced,” according to the RBI. This highlighted that just Rs 10,720 crore of the junked currency notes did not return to the banking system.

Also Read: RBI: 99.3% of demonetised currency returned

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