Noteban will be marked among worst policy blunders; PM has destroyed economy: Cong
New Delhi: On the fifth anniversary of demonetisation, the Congress on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “destroying” the country’s economy and said the noteban decision will be marked in the world’s economic history as among the “worst policy blunders”.
On this day in 2016, the prime minister had announced the decision to ban currency notes of denomination Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
“Today it is five years since Modi ji announced demonetisation on November 8, 2016. Unemployment has risen, small businesses have been hit and closed. He (Modi) spoiled the country’s good economy through demonetisation,” Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, said in a video posted on his Twitter handle.
The veteran leader also hit out at the Modi government over the various objectives cited for demonetisation, including to curb black money flow.
What did demonetisation do, he asked and said it did not reduce black money, terrorism or cash transactions but instead reduced jobs, income and the country’s gross domestic product.
“Can anyone name one beneficiary of demonetisation apart from the BJP and its leaders,” he said in a tweet.
Today the situation is that people who lost their jobs due to demonetisation their jobs have not come back, Kharge claimed.
“This is a ‘black day’ for people of the country. Today the currency notes in circulation continue to rise with over Rs 28 lakh crore,” he said.
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said demonetisation will be marked in the world’s economic history as among the “worst policy blunders”.
He also claimed that the decision along with a rushed goods and services tax (GST) “destroyed the backbone of the Indian economy”.
“With every passing year, it is becoming even more clear that 8.11.2016 will be marked in the world’s economic history among the worst policy blunders anywhere. Demonetisation along with rushed GST destroyed the backbone of the Indian economy — the MSME and informal sectors especially,” Ramesh tweeted.
The Congress leader along with his tweet also shared a graph by former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian and it was titled “Despite digital boom, cash is back with a vengeance”.
“First, we were told demonetisation meant cashless economy. Soon the ‘sarvagyani’ changed track and said not cashless but less cash. Now, cash in circulation is above pre-demonetisation levels,” he said while taking a swipe at the prime minister.
The Congress on its official Twitter handle said five years past, “Demonetisation has not only failed at achieving each and every one of its objectives, but has also decimated our economy, our livelihoods, our futures.”
“It is time we hold Prime Minister Modi responsible,” the party said.
The return of cash into the system is proof enough that when the prime minister promises something, it is bound to be broken, the Congress said.
“What is most prevalent in Modi rule? Fakery- fake notes, fake promises, fake nationalism. Not 50 days, not 500 days, It has been five years since demonetisation. Rampant corruption continues to break India’s back like never before,” the party said in a series of tweets.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also termed noteban as a “disaster” and asked if the step has been successful. Why has not corruption ended and why has not black money returned to the country, she asked.
“If ‘notebandi (demonetisation) was successful, why hasn’t corruption ended? Why hasn’t black money come back? Why hasn’t the economy gone cashless? Why hasn’t terrorism been hit? Why hasn’t price rise been reined in?” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi, using the hashtag ‘DemonetisationDisaster’.
Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said today is the fifth anniversary of noteban and is an important day in the country’s economic history.
“It was today in 2016 that the country’s economy was shattered and it has not been able to recover since then,” he said.
The Congress has been alleging that demonetisation was not in the interest of people and had adverse effects on the economy, a charge the Modi government has dismissed repeatedly.
The Indian Youth Congress (IYC) also held a protest outside the office of the Reserve Bank of India here against the demonetisation decision.
IYC national president Srinivas BV said that demonetisation imposed by the prime minister five years ago has worked to destroy the economy of the country.
“The prime minister’s decision to demonetise proved to be a catastrophe rather than a masterstroke. The claim of ending terrorism with demonetisation turned out to be a ‘jumla’. Demonetisation pushed countrymen into recession,” he said.