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Demonetisation a ‘still-born child’: Congress

New Delhi: Keeping up the offensive, Congress today said the demonetisation decision taken exactly a month back was a “disaster” that has badly jeopardised the country’s economy and dubbed it as “an astronomical failure” and a “still-born child”.

The Congress also latched on to the statements of Union Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia and the RBI, claiming that they “vindicated” the party’s stand that demonetisation move was “bad economic policy”.

Accusing the government of constantly shifting the goalpost by changing rules after announcing demonetisation, AICC spokesperson Sushmita Dev said it has failed to address the issues of terrorism, counterfeit currency, black money and corruption.

Demonetisation is an “astronomical failure”, she said

Dev claimed that the Revenue Secretary’s statement that all currency will come into the market and no windfall gains are expected showed that “the last wicket of Modi government has fallen”.

“Today it has been conclusively proved that the BJP Government has given birth to still-born child – Demonetisation.

“A month after Shri Narendra Modi’s unilateral declaration of ‘Note Ban’, the economy of the country is badly jeopardised. Prime Minister told the people in queues that every inconvenience was minor and for the greater interest of the nation,” she said.

Dev said India was told by the Prime Minister on November 8 that demonetisation is an exercise conducted to curb Black Money and Corruption, fake currency and terror funding.

“But all these three wickets which Shri Modi pitched to launch this failed scheme have come crumbling down. All these 3 wickets have fallen and Modiji out on a hit-wicket!,” she said.

The Congress leader said the Revenue Secretary says that the entire cash withdrawn from the system will be deposited back into the system.

“This effectively means that the entire demonetisation exercise is a complete failure. Government has miserably failed to extract the Black Money from the system. We are making this contention because,” she said.

Dev said the final blow comes with the statement of the Revenue Secretary. The Government which was vying for a windfall gain to reduce their NPA’s and strengthen the fiscal situation of the nation will not be able to make any gain/profit in this scenario, she claimed.

“Congress would like to put the record straight, that Shri Modi’s biggest economic policy has turned into nothing but a disaster for the nation,” Dev said.

Dev claimed the entire demonetisation exercise has resulted in a loss of almost Rs 1.28 lakh crore (as per CMIE- Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy) and millions of man hours have been wasted.

“Modiji says that there is ‘no gain without pain’- But the country has suffered a lot of pain because of such a failed policy,” she said.

The Congress leader said the dual ‘Fair and Lovely’ schemes by the Government have helped people by giving them an option of converting their unaccounted black money into white and paying 49.9 pc of tax per the newly amended Income Tax Law without any fear of prosecution.

“Why would those people deposit their unaccounted wealth in banks, and get taxed 132 pc,” she asked.

She said the Reserve of India has today announced that there will no change in repo rates, which effectively means that no interest rates would be reduced by various banks, hence there will no gain for the ordinary middle class who pays EMI’s for their bank loans.

Modi had exhorted that the sole purpose of his announcement was to prevent any advantage or time to black money holders by not giving them any time, Dev said.

“But the opposite has happened. The black money holders have managed to get away,” she said.

“It has battered the economy, caused grave inconvenience to crores of people, caused the death of at least 84 people, resulted in loss of lakhs of jobs,” she said.

She recalled that on November 8, 2016, when the Prime Minister announced this scheme, ‘black money’ was mentioned in his speech 18 times in his 25-minute speech.

Reacting to the RBI announcement, Dev said clearly there was a view that interest rates will come down as a consequence of what has happened the reason that the people are depositing their money which is giving the false impression of higher deposits in savings.

“It is a temporary phenomena, it is the demonetisation that has compelled people to run to the Banks, deposit money but unable to withdraw because of limits imposed as well as non-availability of cash.

“So this is a temporary phenomena, it is bound not to have impact on the interest rated and I think, we as Party stand vindicated on the pronouncement and monumental mismanagement has become crystal clear,” she said.

She also asked if the Prime Minister will explain the recovery of Rs 33 lakh in new Rs 2,000 notes recovered in West Bengal from Manish Sharma, alleging he is a BJP leader.

Dev said BJP chief Amit Shah is tom-toming that political parties will not be able to use their unaccounted cash.

“Will Modi Ji explain the several land deals in the name of Shri Amit Shah and several BJP office bearers in various states- Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan?,” she asked, adding whether he will also explain the big fat weddings organised by some BJP leaders too.

PTI