Published: Wed, November 08, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Demonetisation: Arun Jaitley and Manmohan Singh spar over note ban

Demonetisation: Arun Jaitley and Manmohan Singh spar over note ban

On the eve of first anniversary of demonetisation, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said the note ban exercise and Goods and Services Tax (GST) were "badly designed and hastily implemented". He stated that the time for politicking was over and the prime minister should graciously acknowledge the blunder and seek support to rebuild the economy. 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.

Opposition parties are observing "black day" on Wednesday. Economics should take precedence over politics. While opposition parties led by Congress have chose to observe the demonetisation anniversary as a "black day", the BJP has dubbed it "anti-black money day". "I was surprised when PM said that Congress hated Gujaratis". The poor and the marginalised, farmers, traders the small and medium businesses suffered the brunt of demonetisation. I remember feeling shocked when I heard the Prime Minister's announcement, and I wondered who advised him to inflict such a reckless step on our nation, and whether any considered thought went into it'.

None its objectives were achieved, Singh said during an interactive session on the current state of the economy with businesspersons and traders in Ahmedabad.

Previously, in an intervention in a debate in the Rajya Sabha on demonetisation, Singh had likened it to "organized loot".

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"Is everyone who questions the outcome of demonetisation and GST a tax evader?"

Manmohan Singh said that "Black money and tax evasion are a menace that needs to be tackled, but note ban was not the solution". He said, NDA government has taken several steps to control corruption and for transparency in the system, and if the congress party has any concrete suggestion in this regard it should be given to government.

"This is short term pain for long term gains and these measures would not only bring reforms but have also squeezed terror funding", he said talking to mediapersons on the last day of campaigning for the state Assembly polls here.

He also alleged that the fact that nearly 99% of the demonetized currency came back into the banking systems has punctured the government's claims.

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On being asked about whether the government is thinking of providing compensation to those died or suffered during the process of demonetisation, he said: "The remonetisation has taken place nearly instantaneously and therefore the pick up of trade began thereafter".

"The Congress is trying to defame the Central government on the economic front", he said.

He said in order to promote a cashless economy, coercive steps like demonetisation are ineffective. He also informed that a drop of 1% in the GDP annually cost the nation around 1.5 lakh crore rupees. Along with demonetisation, GST had created a deep-rooted feeling of tax terrorism among businessmen in the country, he said.

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