Indian Economy: A Year After Demonetisation, Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: In what was termed as alandmark and bold decision, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced last year on November 8, demonetisation of high value notes which amounted to 86% of currency in circulation. The idea behind this exercise was put curb on black money, counterfeit notes and promote digital India. A year later, November 8, which marks as anniversary of demonetisation, progress in all these areas has been a topic of debate. Note ban disrupted ordinary life across the country and common man was heavily impacted.
During his first election campaign appearance in Gujarat, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said that during 10 years of UPA, GDP grew at 7.8%, Modi managed just 7.3%. Singh, while hitting back at the Prime Minister said ,“the Attorney General told the Supreme Court that 25% of the cash with the public would be made valueless. It was also said the government would be able to present the same amount of money without inflationary consequences and distribute it to the ordinary people. However, 99% of the cash was deposited with banks and can now be withdrawn as legitimate money. No money has been distributed to the poor”.
Responding to the outpouring criticism, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley replied in his blog post that 2016 demonetisation was a watershed moment for the Indian economy. Jaitley while terming demonetisation as “morally and ethically correct” step, “politically correct” said that it made corruption difficult.
Jaitley in his facebook blogpost said, “November 8, 2016 would be remembered as a watershed moment in the history of Indian economy. This day signifies the resolve of this Government to cure the country from ‘dreaded disease of black money’.”
Jaitley highlighted the positive outcomes of demonetisation, referring to RBI report which stated that Specified Bank Notes (SBNs) worth Rs.15.28 lakh crore have been deposited back as of June 30, 2017 while on 8th November, 2016 it was Rs.15.44 lakh crore.
The Modi government is planning to celebrate the first anniversary of demonetisation as ‘anti-black money day’.