United opposition Takes Battle Against Demonetisation into govt camp

By Sarkaritel November 17, 2016 09:50

United opposition Takes Battle Against Demonetisation into govt camp

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TMC wants President to scrap the measure

Congress led opposition riles BJP for inconvenience caused to common manDemands JPC Probe

By TN Ashok

New Delhi, Nov 16: A united opposition today attacked the BJP led NDA government for disrupting normal life in the country with unplanned demonetization both outside and inside parliament with some such as TMC submitting a memorandum to president to scrap the measure, congress demanding a JPC probe and left and other parties highlighting sufferings of farmers and citizens hit by cash/currency shortage.

The most vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 100 notes , TMC leader Ms Mamta Banerjee led a march to the Presidents House joined by BJP’s ally Shiv Sena to submit a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee demanding the suspension or roll back of the demonetization steps dubbing it as a dictatorial and draconian steps that had terrorized the people.

It called on the government to implement any measure to root out black money in a properstrategist manner by taking states into confidence and for tiding over the current currency crisis by stocking banks with enough money supply so that the common man was not left in the lurch by lack of cash on hand to buy essentials which also government must ensure is in good supply.

In Parliament, as Lok Sabha was adjourned to mourn the death of a sitting TMC member, the upper house Rajya Sabha took up a day long discussion to let members let out their steam on the issue. Initiating the debate , Congress leader Anand Sharma said while the house stood  together on the issues of black money, terror, counterfeit currency and drug money, he disputed the claim of the government 86 per cent of money under circulation was scrapped in one stroke. “Did you think that the majority of that money was counterfeit? Cash accounts for about 12-14 per cent of our GDP and the common man transacts using cash,” he said.

Sharma pointed out that in August, government claimed only 0.02% of the currency in circulation was counterfeit. It was strange therefore to scrap money creating a kind of undeclared financial emergency. Agriculture is the backbone of India’s economy and this sector has been hit adversely by demonetization that has led to a large cash crunch with farmers. The timing was bad as most farmers were taking out cash for their produce in mandis [markets]. The payments related to Kharif crops which are yet to come, and Rabi is already happening.”

Millions across the country were queuing up at bank counters and ATMs to withdraw cash because daily necessities were being met with cash and most people eat at dhabas, where cards are not accepted. It has hit tourism very badly as many nations have sent out advisories to their citizens to think twice before visiting India.

“What law gives you the right to make us beg before you for money we have earned?, Sharma asked in an angry rhetoric claiming  the BJP government has broken the backbone of the economy. He demanded  disclosure of the names of the people holding money in Swiss banks. “Reveal the names of those who took huge loans and did not pay back.”

Demonetization was not a closely guarded secret as claimed by the government, Sharma said adding  the SBI knew about demonetization in March. In October, it was published in English papers. And, then in Dainik Jagran. The government selectively leaked the information and the BJP units withdrew crores of money before the announcement, Sharma alleged.

Energy Minister Piyush Goyal rejected Sharmas charge saying the govt. can’t help if the corrupt are unhappy. For the first time, honest people are being honored and the corrupt are being punished. The RBI realized for some time that more than half of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes in the economy did not find their way back into the currency chests of the government. The idea of demonetization was that the hidden notes were replaced by new cash.

Goyal said it was not possible for the government to give advance warning or notice of the demonetization move because it would have alerted the corrupt to convert their black money.  If the government gets more money in terms of taxes, it can spend more on welfare measures. Demonetization is the move for a “festival of honesty and integrity”.

Leader of the Opposition in the House Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Prime Minister doesn’t know the sentiments of the main Opposition parties. “If he hears it, the problems can be solved in an easier way.

Sitaram Yechury, CPI (M) questioned the logic behind government’s demonetization move saying that by Prime ministers own admission only 6% of black money in India was in cash and thereforedemonetization  was not the perfect solution to curb illicit wealth. On funding of elections, he asked,”Why should the corporates fund us? It’s an investment for them.”

People’s sufferings by standing in queues for long at bank counters and ATMs were only intensifying by the day. So by way of solution until alternate arrangements can be made allow the demonetizated notes to be transacted by all for some more time as the PM himself has admitted  it will take 50 days to make  alternate arrangements.

BSP chief Mayawati equated the situation to a financial emergency. “It looks as if Bharat has shut down.” The government has derailed the day-to-day life of the poor, farmers and the middle class; she charged adding the govt. is not paying attention to their plight.

She said it was sad the PM on his return from Japan claimed at a rally in Ghazipur that he was against corruption. “But, the arrangements to the rally were made by corrupt means,” she alleged. Should the PM not have taken enough measures during his 10 months of preparation, she asked alleging that during the period party favorites and the rich managed to convert their big denomination notes.

Since the demonetization has come ahead of the UP and other state  assembly elections, it goes to show that the party is in a bad state in those states where people will reject them for the sufferings they have caused with the latest move, she said.

By Sarkaritel November 17, 2016 09:50