Slamming the government’s much-vaunted demonetization move and the sluggish progress towards a “cashless economy”, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, at a presser organized at the Congress party headquarters today came down heavily on the Modi sarkar today.
He asked a pointed question- in which developed country- has a demonetization move not bombed ? The US, Singa[ore, Japan- none of these countries have ever experimented with such a disastrous economic move, he asserted. Those countries which have, are crippled by severely underdeveloped economies, he asserted, while taking the examples of Ghana, Greece, Congo and the Soviet Union. Britain is the only country where a part-demonetization move ever succeeded, that too partially.
P.C. also recounted and described how the government’s aspiration of “cashless” has left a trail of destruction and suffering in its wake- the economy is severely starved of cash, and the poor, marginalized and unorganized sector workers have been the hardest hit. The middle –class hasn’t been spared the travails either, he asserted.
Citing an opinion column he authored in the newspaper Indian Express on 20 November this year, PC also criticized how the government’s move was shrouded in secrecy- the Chief Economic Advisor was not taken into confidence before Modi’s 8 November announcement; and how the government, in one fell swoop, turned back on its decision regarding the exchange of old currency notes which no longer are valid legal tender.
He also did not omit to mention how the entire scheme has become a vehicle of money-laundering for the reach and powerful, with massive rackets being unraveled every other day.