Demonetization : Some pertinent questions

demoNow eight months after Demonetization, Government must be preparing the authentic documents in case some people file an RTI to seek information on various counts and the effects of demonetization. The information cannot be just as per the estimate or according to a source in the government. It has to be substantiated by the statistical facts.

There were several claims made by the government which now must stand public scrutiny. The tumultuous 50 day period followed by demonetization on 8thNovember 2016 was attributed to certain secret policies so that criminal minded people do not get down to a strategy to work out the solution to convert stacked billions of high denomination currency notes. The largely unsuspecting population without any knowledge about economics was made to believe that it’s the best act by the government to bring out black money and solve stone pelting in Kashmir. Those who rationally questioned the whole colossal exercise were branded as anti national by well trained spokespersons of various agencies.

Government need to answer five very simple but pertinent questions to the general masses

What is the total black money caught and removed from the system in the entire process? And what was done to the confiscated illegal money?

How much currency was deposited in the banks by the masses?

How much tax was paid in cash during demonetization?

Did government have the estimate of black money in the system? and what steps are being taken to avoid that situation in future

How much currency was printed and pushed back into the system?

Besides this government need to answer many other questions regarding actions taken against the ones who indulged in malpractices soon after the announcement as there were many corrupt bank officials who helped people in laundering the money. Many companies gave advance salaries in cash and crores of money was deposited in Jan Dhan accounts to avoid taxes. There was report of many land deals finalized just couple of days before the demonetization. Also many poor people of Nepal suffered because of this which affected our relations with the neighboring country. The rhetoric went to the extent of comparing “ Hard work” with Harvard . The government assured that it will stop terrorism and stone pelting in Kashmir and break the backbone of separatists. On the contrary the firing at the borders has not abated; stone pelting has further intensified and even after wide publicity of several security features in the new currency there were reports of counterfeit currency caught by police from several parts of country. How can we forget that the policy makers forgot about calibration of ATMs as per the size of new currency? And how beautifully government shifted the focus away from demonetization by stressing on cash less economy though none of the best economies all over the world are cashless!

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