Chidambaram, Mamata slam Centre over demonetisation after RBI report

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the RBI’s revelation pointed at a “big scam”. Congress’ senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said none of the objectives of demonetisation has been met.

By rendering 500 and 1,000 rupees illegal in one stroke and imposing restrictions on how the money could be returned to lenders, Modi had been intending to make it hard for hoarders of undeclared wealth, or black money, to exchange their undeclared cash for legal tender. Rs 16,000 cr out of demonetised notes of Rs 1544,000 cr did not come back to RBI. “Shame on RBI which “recommended” demonetisation”, Chidambaram tweeted. “The economists deserve a Nobel Prize”, Chidambaram said sarcastically.

“99 pc notes legally exchanged! Was demonetisation a scheme created to convert black money into white?”, Chidambaram said on Twitter.

These officials said the fact that nearly 99% of banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes demonetised last November have returned to the system was proof that “demonetisation and its associated effects were setting the Indian economy on the right track”.

There was no official word about the meeting but sources said that the Prime Minister sought to motivate the ministers and the government officials, saying that they should not face any trouble into speedy and timely implementation of centrally funded schemes as there were NDA government in both the states.

Earlier on November 8 previous year, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government announced its demonetization drive, wherein, currency denominations of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes were stopped as legal tender.

He also referred to Modi’s past speech with a headline – “Give me 50 days, burn me alive if I am wrong”.

Accusing Modi of obfuscation, Surjewala said figures given by the RBI had again exposed the government. “Only one per cent has not returned”, she said. 99 per cent of the demonetised currency has come back to the RBI. Of this, Rs 9,000 crore still stuck. “Rs 21000 Cr spent to recover Rs 16000 Cr!”

He also said that the demonetisation scam not only dented institutional sanctity of the RBI, but also credibility of India overseas and demanded an apology from the prime minister. “I feel it was a total flop show”.

General Secretary Sitaram Yechury took to Twitter, and termed demonetisation as an “anti-national act”, asking the Prime Minister, “All this for what”. 100s died in queues. All this for what?

In a follow-up tweet, Yechury wrote that demonetisation brought “shock” to the economy, “workers lost their jobs”.

The government promised that the national tax, which replaced more than a dozen separate levies, would transform India’s $2 trillion economy into a single market for the first time.

“Boasts on end to black money, terror and counterfeit currency have all fallen flat”.

According to the RBI annual report for the last fiscal, 89 million pieces of the banned Rs 1,000, totalling Rs 8,900 crore, had not been returned, out of 6,700 million such notes.

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