Disclose currency that returned to banks, Sonia dares Modi govt

Reiterating that demonetisation has been disastrous for the Indian economy, as indicated by the lower GDP growth, the Congress chief came down heavily on the Modi Government in a hard-hitting address

AICC press release photo
AICC press release photo

NH Web Desk

Even seven months after the decision to implement demonetisation was taken, the Narendra Modi Government still refuses to disclose how much of the currency in circulation was actually returned to the banks, pointed out Congress President Sonia Gandhi, while addressing a Working Committee meeting of the party on Tuesday.

“It isn’t that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has forgotten how to count money; it is that actual numbers show that the scheme was a disaster,” said the Congress President.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, also a former RBI Governor, was also present at the meeting. In a statement, Singh reiterated what he has been saying from the beginning, namely the decision to demonetise over 80% of the currency in circulation was disastrous.

Gross Value Added (GVA), a true sub measure of economic activity, has fallen from 10.7% in March 2016 to just 3.8% in March 2017, a decline of nearly 7%, Singh pointed out.

“Jobs have been extremely hard to come by for the youth of the nation,” the former PM said.

The construction industry, which is one of the largest employment generators in the country, has suffered a contraction. This implies loss of millions of jobs for the nation's workforce,” Singh went on to add.

Sonia Gandhi in her address said, “The Modi Government has just completed three years in office. Where there was harmony, there is discord. Where there was tolerance, there is provocation. Where there was relative calm, as in Kashmir, there is growing confrontation, tension and fear. Where there was economic potential, there is stagnation. Where there was rich diversity, there is a brazen campaign to strait-jacket the whole country into a regressive and narrow-minded world-view.”

Accusing the Government of poor planning and shoddy implementation of schemes, she pointed out that many of the promises made by the Government that it said it would fulfil by 2019 are already being shifted to 2022.

Expressing grave concern at the rise of lynch mobs with close ideological affinity between them and the ruling establishment, in a hard-hitting address, she censured the Government for “systematic attempt to blunt tools of accountability, undermine the judiciary and suppress dissent.” This serves this Government the larger purpose of concealing corruption, she added for good measure.

“Cronies and individuals close to the establishment have either seen dramatic increase in wealth and influence in the last three years, or have escaped the wrath of the law and managed to flee the country,” she said.

Warning that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with its enormous resources and muscle power, would continue to try and steal the mandate as it did in Goa and Manipur, she called upon party workers and leaders to protect the idea of India and get ready for the general elections in 2019.

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Published: 06 Jun 2017, 7:17 PM