New Delhi, November 24: Tearing apart Center’s vision on demonetisation drive to curb black money, noted economist and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday opened the debate on currency ban in Rajya Sabha and called center’s Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes ban a “monumental mismanagement, organised loot and legalised plunder.”
Pointing out the extent of hardship which demonetisation has caused to the common man and small businesses, Singh warned that the note ban will hit at least 2 per cent to GDP due to monumental mismanagement in its implementation.
“The GDP of the country will decline by about 2 per cent by what has been done. And this is an underestimate and not an overestimate.”
In razor-sharp words, former PM said, “What has been done can also weaken our people’s confidence in the currency and banking system.”
Singh sought relevant answers from PM in the Rajya Sabha: I want to ask the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) if he can name any country where people have deposited their money but are not able to withdraw it.
“There has been a monumental mismanagement in implementation of demonetisation. I hope that the prime minister will help us find practical ways to give relief to people who are suffering,” he said, adding 60-65 people have also lost their lives till date.
“PM said we should wait 50 days. For those who are from the poor and deprived sections, even 50 days torture can bring about disastrous effect. I say, with all responsibility, that we do not know what will be the final outcome,” Singh said.
The father of Indian reforms, Dr Manmohan Singh slammed Narendra Modi governmnet’s version of currency ban and said in the parliament, “the way it is implemented will hurt agricultural growth in our country, will hurt small industry and will hurt all those people who are in the informal sector of the economy,” further highlighting that small businesses, farming and cooperative banking have been hurt most.
Targeting those who say demonetisation is good in long run, and Singh said they should recall the quote: In the long run we are all dead.
Hitting out government over new directives being circulated everyday in the banking process Dr Singh said, “It is no good that everyday banks come with modifications of the rules under which people can withdraw money. This reflects very poorly on the PMO, Finance Minister’s Office, & on the RBI. I am very sorry that the RBI has been exposed to this sort of criticism, which I think i fully justified.”
The Singh urged Prime Minister Modi to find practical and pragmatic ways and means to relieve the distress on the people.
Prime Minster Modi is present in the house today and is expected to speak in the Rajya Sabha. The opposition is united to protest currency ban. The opposition has said that without prime minister’s presence there will be no discuss in the house.