Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of the CPI(M), has stated in a press conference that demonetisation did not have any gains. It only caused pain to the citizens of this country, both in the short and the long term.
Demonetisation was an utter failure, no matter how much the Modi administration tries to spin it. According to the RBI data, 99% of the notes, that were demonetised last November, have been returned to the banks. All the black money that the government stated would be removed from the system, has found its way back in and has ended up being legitimised. The move ended up costing more than a hundred people losing their lives, as they stood in queues waiting to withdraw their own money. It effectively killed the informal sector costing scores of the poorest people their jobs and did not come close to curbing any terrorist activities. Then what was the purpose of this move after all?
Following are the questions Yechury has demanded that the government answers, in order to explain the true objective of demonetisation:
1. Who decided to demonetise? (Was it the PM?) Is that the reason why Raghuram Rajan was forced to go?
2. More than 100 people died in queues, trying to get their own, hard-earned money due to PM’s announcement. Who is responsible? Why no compensation? Is there an FIR?
3. Reportedly, more than 100% of demonetised currency is coming back after Bhutanese, Nepalese and Coop Banks Currency is taken in. This shows it’s a successful Money Laundering scheme.
4. In Bengal and elsewhere too, BJP members were known to have made bulk deposits of massive amounts just before Demonetisation was announced. So it was the biggest scam of Independent India. So much for PM’s fight against corruption.
5. There was no mention of digitisation on Nov 8, but the the Economy crashed, the government went out of the way to help certain selected private companies under the mask of ‘digitisation.’ PM himself featured in full-page ads of a private company (Paytm). Why? Clearly to give a profit bonanza to international and domestic players.
6. Was this entire exercise done to protect the corporates who are refusing to return the loans they had taken from our nationalised banks which according to one estimate is around Rs. 11,00,000 crores, including interest? Was this done to prevent the banks from collapsing as a consequence of these loans? The government instead should have taken measures to recover these loans which is people’s money.
7. Corruption has far from ended. The amount of money in 2000 rupee notes is much more than the amount of money in 1000 rupee notes. Is that what the PM wanted? To help the corrupt rich?
8. PM’s claims on Counterfeit currency are wrong. This scheme has legitimised all counterfeit currency.
9. There were claims that this was to finish Terror. Far from it, numbers of security personnel lost to terror has gone up significantly since.
10. The Informal sector has collapsed. All data shows that this sector which employs more than two-thirds of our workforce has collapsed due to demonetisation. Lives, Livelihoods and Jobs have been decimated. This government is responsible for this.
11. Ill-Effects of demonetisation on rural markets and Agriculture, heightened the distress among farmers. Their protests have been met by police firing from BJP state governments.
12. Why were people imposed with a burden of printing new notes costing Rs. 8000 crores; ATM recalibration cost of over Rs. 35,000 crores in addition to the loss of economic activity estimated by the CMIE and others to the tune of Rs. 1,50,000 crores?
13. How much taxpayer money in ads has the centre spent to ‘ glorify’ the PM and Demonetisation?
14. The government must fix accountability for this disaster and punish those responsible.