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Demonetisation: Cong, NCP, CPI-M Slam Centre, Say 2016 Move Hit Economy, Hurt People

Kerala FM Balagopal says SC only looked at legal aspect; DeMo impact was “very serious” and “detrimental” to economy.

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Mumbai: The Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress on Monday slammed the Narendra Modi government for demonetisation, their statements coming on a day when the Supreme Court upheld the 2016 move saying the decision did not suffer from any legal or constitutional flaw.

The two parties said the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre cannot absolve itself of blame for the distress the people of the country suffered due to the decision to scrap high-value currency notes.

"Despite the (SC) verdict, the BJP government must be held accountable for the downfall of the economy due to demonetisation and the loss of many lives due to the disastrous, ill planned process," NCP national spokesperson Clyde Crasto said.

He said the move failed in exposing blast money as 99% of demonetised notes came back to the banks.

"Where did the black money disappear. There is more currency in circulation in the market today than before. So what happened to digital payment if the idea was to minimise cash transactions,'' Crasto questioned.

He said the move was "bad and hasty" and broke the "backbone of the economy, led to loss of human lives and hurt citizens in so many ways".

Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said some questions raised in SC verdict were "overarching".

"It is inconsequential now to see if demonetisation was legal or not. The decision was inhuman, haphazard, high-handed and far away from meeting targets," he said.

Sawant called demonetisation a "manmade disaster" and claimed 98% currency returned, more than 100 persons died and the economic growth nosedived from 8.1% to 3.7% in eight consecutive quarters, which indicates deep wounds inflicted on the lives of the people.

A Rap on Govt’s Wrist: Chidambaram

Chennai: Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram on Monday said the majority verdict by the Supreme Court has steered clear of the question whether the objectives of the demonetisation exercise were achieved at all.

The 'minority' judgement pointed out the 'illegality' and the 'irregularities' in the demonetisation, Chidambaram said on Monday soon after the apex court pronounced its verdict.

"Once the Hon'ble Supreme Court has declared the law, we are obliged to accept it. However, it is necessary to point out that the majority has not upheld the wisdom of the decision; nor has the majority concluded that the stated objectives were achieved," the senior Congress leader said in a tweet.

"In fact, the majority has steered clear of the question whether the objectives were achieved at all," he said.

"We are happy that the minority judgement has pointed out the illegality and the irregularities in the demonetisation. It may be only a slap on the wrist of the government, but a welcome slap on the wrist," he noted.

The dissenting judgement would rank among the famous dissents recorded in the history of the court, he pointed out.

SC Only Looked at Legal, Tech Aspects: K N Balagopal

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Finance Minister K N Balagopal on Monday said the Supreme Court verdict upholding the Centre's 2016 decision to demonetise the Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denomination notes only looked into its legal and technical aspects.

The minister said practically the economic and social impact of the Union government's decision was very serious and was detrimental to the growth of various sectors.

"It ruined for some time many areas of the economy," he told PTI.

He said the serious impact that demonetisation had on India's social and economic growth has been proved in the studies by various economists and financial experts.

"The economic growth was affected. Many sectors' growth was detrimentally impacted by demonetisation," he said.

Earlier, speaking to reporters after the verdict was delivered, the minister said that the apex court only examined the legal aspects of the decision making process, but the fact remains that the adverse impact of demonetisation on the commercial, service agriculture and various other sectors was continuing.

"There is no solution in the verdict to the financial crisis that resulted out of it (demonetisation)," Balagopal said.

Its impact would also be seen in the future, he added.

After demonetisation, they are now going forward with monetisation -- to sell off the public sector undertakings and enterprises, he contended.

Meanwhile, former Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the apex court upholding the Centre's decision "does not make it (demonetisation) a less Himalayan blunder".

He contended that demonetisation "torpedoed" India's 8% and resulted in a national GDP loss of nearly Rs 15 lakh crore.

"SC's majority decision that demonetisation was legal, does not make it a less Himalayan blunder that torpedoed India's 8% growth, resulted in a national GDP loss of nearly ?15 lakh crore and horrendous suffering to the people. Those responsible shall be tried in people's court," Isaac tweeted.

The Supreme Court in a 4:1 majority verdict on Monday upheld the government's 2016 decision to demonetise the Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denomination notes, saying the decision-making process was not flawed.

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