Demonetisation was a watershed moment: Jaitley

Manmohan Singh gujarat

Manmohan Singh gujarat

Following his announcement, India faced a lot many difficulties and it nearly took 4-5 for the new currency notes of 2000 and 500 to come into rotation.

Jaitley took a dig at Manmohann Singh, saying "anti-black money drive is (an) ethical drive, a moral step and what is morally and ethically correct has to be politically correct".

Recalling the Prime Minister's demonetisation announcement on November 8, 2016, Jaitley said: "It was a watershed moment for the Indian economy". The Gujarat Congress in its release had informed that the former Prime Minister, during his visit, is scheduled to hold an interactive session on the current state of the economy with businessmen and traders.

Singh said that the government needs to make a "frank admission of problems", adding that "while denigrating the past, the Prime Minister is also exaggerating what he will do in future".

Addressing the gathering he said that "I say with vast pain and sense of deep responsibility, that the 8th of Nov was a black day for our economy and our democracy".

"A step like demonetisation and if you link it to various steps government has taken, I think we've succeeded in bringing to centrestage the issue of how financial transactions in a country like India ought to be carried out", the FM said.

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"We know by now that none of the stated objectives of eliminating black money, terror financing and counterfeit currency have been met".

A year on since demonetisation was implemented, the former prime minister said the exercise was an example of an ill-thought out plan and said that it had been forced upon the economy.

The central government also came under a sharp attack from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who changed the display picture of her Twitter account to black in a protest against note ban.

'One must also remember that nowhere in the world has any democracy undertaken such a coercive move, withdrawing 86 per cent of legal tender in one single swoop. "And today, there isn't an global agency which does not eulogise the kind and quality of the structural reforms Indian is making".

"The fact that more more than 99 per cent of the (spiked) currency came back into the banking system has punctured the government's claim". He further informed that though the Modi government claims to have got back black money in the banks, there are also wide spread reports of the rich converting their black money into white money., while the poor have undergone enormous suffering. The Congress has chose to field Singh, an economist of repute, to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his home state. "I repeat, it was organised loot and legalised plunder", Singh said, referring to a similar statement in Parliament previous year.

These twin blows damaged India's medium and small manufacturing sectors and our businesses had to run to Chinese imports at the cost of Indian jobs, he added. Even this is bound to be a gross underestimate as the pain of the informal sector is not adequately captured in the GDP calculation. He also informed that a drop of 1% in the GDP annually cost the nation around 1.5 lakh crore rupees. "The unending notifications and changes, a repeat of the chaos of demonetisation, have caused needless confusion", said the former prime minister. But instead of helping the poor the way Mahatma Gandhi preached, the Union Government hit the citizens with "a badly-designed GST".

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