Congress Criticizes Modi’s Anti-Corruption Demonetization Drive

Congress Criticizes Modi's Anti-Corruption Demonetization Drive
Congress Criticizes Modi’s Anti-Corruption Demonetization Drive

Congress, an opposition political party in India, is disturbed over Indian government’s decision to demonetize currency notes in order to curb corruption in the country.

In a statement issued today, Congress party said Indians are already into the second day of living in a country which just had 80% of its circulating currency purged out of the system in one overnight blow.

The government of India, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had demonetized currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 on Tuesday, saying that the step has been taken to check corruption and the flow of black money.

[ Read Full Report: Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 Currency Notes Demonetized in India ]

Congress says that government’s resource management is not proper because people are not able to get their old currency notes exchanged with the new ones from banks and post offices.

“With serpentine queues trailing the entrances of banks, post offices, and reports of banks running out of new notes, the inconvenience and hardships for common people is very real. Economy activity will come to a standstill due to this confusion,” Congress suggested.

Plus, according to Congress, the cost of printing the new money will be in the the range of Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 crore. “We hope that the economic gains are equal to that amount,” Congress said.

[ Currency Notes: What Is President Mukherjee’s Advice to People? ]

It also added that about 80% of Indian economy is informal, which includes the farmers and the daily wage earners. “Despite the loud proclamations of the Modi government, a vast majority of Indians still don’t operate a functioning bank account for their regular transactions,” Congress said.

More importantly, according to Congress, of the 15 million registered merchants, barely half have provisions for accepting electronic payments. And this doesn’t even include the small traders. That means, they will not be able to do business till the time buyers have new currency notes.

Congress believes that demonetization decision will not deliver the desired results toward checking corruption because most of the illicit money is stored as bullion or invested in real estate or jewellery.

Photo courtesy: Congress

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Rakesh Raman