Panaji: Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh today said his “assumption” is that some counterfeit currency in circulation has returned to banks and might have become a legal tender following demonetisation of high value bills last November.
“My assumption is that even counterfeit currency has come back (to banks) and become a legal tender under this demonetisation. The SBI official spokesman has already accepted the fact that sometime in mid-December more than Rs 300 crore of counterfeit currency has been received,” the AICC general secretary told reporters here.
He alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “intention” behind demonetisation was to support corporates.
“The whole intent of Narendra Modi was to support the digital transaction corporate sector of Master Card, VISA, PayTm, wherein a growing economy like India is service charged and merchant discount rate will run into thousands of crores annually (sic),” he said.
Singh said 2-3 per cent of money goes into pocket of service providers on every transaction committed through card.
“He (PM) talks of cashless economy, but even in developed countries like USA, more than 45 per cent of the transactions are in cash,” the Congress leader said.
He said RBI which is supposed to give weekly figures of currency in circulation has not been releasing them.
“…Isn’t that a total loss having counterfeit currency in circulation? The whole decision was taken without taking RBI into confidence.
“If you see the reply sent by RBI to the parliamentary standing committee, it is that they were asked to give a resolution on November 7, 2016 (a day before demonetisation),” Singh claimed.
He said RBI is an autonomous institution founded on trust.
“If trust of any national reserve bank is eroded then it’s a very serious matter. It almost leads to an economic emergency. Even today, restrictions by RBI are in place. I cannot withdraw my own money although they (RBI) have hiked the withdrawal limit,” Singh said.