‘Demonetisation was an organised loot and legalised plunder; Govt should bring a white paper on it’
“We demand that the government should come out with a white paper highlighting the cost and benefits of this Tughlaqi decree”, Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said
The Congress on Friday once again raised the 2016 demonetisation, dubbing it "notebadli and not notebandi" and demanding a White Paper by the Centre on the issue.
On Thursday, the Vice-President of the Surat BJP unit and former Income Tax Officer PVS Sarma came out with serious allegations of tax evasion in the wake of demonetisation against a prominent jeweller based out of Surat. He also tweeted the documents related to the jewellery firm claiming that the firm sold Rs 96 crore worth of jewellery and gold within a few hours after the announcement of demonetisation on November 8, 2016.
In the wake of this case, Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh addressing a press conference said: "The Indian economy is still reeling under the aftershocks of this ill-advised move. Before starting to accomplish a goal, its objective need to be kept in mind. Unfortunately, the Modi government, in its confusion and desperation, kept changing the goalposts according to the outcome."
“In the next couple of weeks, when we would be commemorating the 4th anniversary, we demand that the government should come out with a white paper highlighting the cost and benefits of this Tughlaqi decree”, said Vallabh.
On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and issuance of new currency in its place in Rs 500 and RS 2,000 denominations.
The Congress leader added: "It started as an exercise supposedly to curb black money and as a move to make India a cashless economy, but the government kept changing the narrative as none of the objectives stated earlier could be achieved."
Vallabh said that out of Rs 15.44 lakh crore in old currency, the Modi government projected that about Rs 3-4 lakh crore was black money and hence would not come back to the banking system as deposits.
"The decision was taken based on an assumption with no solid reasoning or research and none of the economic experts were consulted or their advice adhered to," the Congress leader remarked.
"The RBI 'gained' Rs 16,000 crore but 'spent' Rs 25,391 crore in printing of new notes," he remarked.
The Congress leader cited the RBI report and said of the demonetised notes, 99 per cent were returned to the bank. "According to the RBI data, only 0.0013 per cent of the banned notes were found to be Fake Indian Currency Notes'; rest 99.9987 per cent were valid currency notes," Vallabh said.
"The Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank, whose Directors include BJP leader and present Union Home Minister Amit Shah (also its past chairman), and his close associates received the highest amount of old demonetised notes, that is, a whopping Rs 745.58 crore in just 5 days between November 10, 2016 and November 14, 2016," he alleged.
The Congress leader said that 11 district cooperative banks in Gujarat headed by BJP leaders, including Amit Shah, recorded deposit of old notes totalling Rs 3,118.51 crore within these five days.
Vallabh also brought up the issue of Income Tax raid on a BJP functionary in Surat and alleged that he was being silenced for raising questions on the note exchange scam.
Stressing the need of the White Paper on demonetisation, the Congress leader said that it’s necessary that the Government also answers the four specific questions that the Congress Party is asking:
- How many such alleged defaulters has the income tax department probed and what is the undisclosed income unearthed?
- Why did the government decide to misuse the machinery to raid the whistleblower instead of instituting an enquiry against the alleged scam?
- How much black money has the government recovered from such defaulters so far?
- Why is the government afraid to place the names of entities involved in such scams, details of defaulters and the transaction trails?
With IANS inputs