Our respected Prime Minister in a ‘bold move’ recently did a surgical strike on the black money hoarders and counterfeiters by bringing into effect demonetization of INR 500 and 1000 notes, hours before midnight. People lined up before cash deposit machines all over the country to deposit whatever they had as notes that would go out of legal tender. The petrol bunks saw a sudden rush in the number of people wanting to fill a full tank of fuel, to dispose of their soon to be illegal notes. (This was the only occasion when I was glad being broke 🙂 )
From the next day, all hell broke loose.On the very next day,banks and ATMs remained closed and inoperative. Once the banks reopened and people rushed to exchange their money for the new notes, it leads to endless queues all over the country. The demonetization drive even got two martyrs, one suicide and the other one just because a hospital wouldn’t accept the old currency the patient had. The very next day, the Indian e-wallet leader PayTM turned our PM into their brand ambassador. All the e-wallet providers saw a super surge in transaction and wallet addition metrics.
One thing I’m puzzled at is, how would demonetization wipe out the black money from our economy. The black money wallahs don’t keep their “black money ” as liquid cash. They can easily convert it into gold, real estate and other stuff which would save them the trouble of storing cash and yield a return. The real big sharks in the black economy did get enough time to convert their money into assets or send it offshore.The only ones who suffered were the ordinary faceless Indian citizens to whom our very dear Prime Minister had promised (before the elections ) to deposit 15 lakh Rupees to every one of their bank accounts by bringing back the black money from offshore accounts and tax havens. The local Kirana stores or milkman or bakery or fishermen wouldn’t accept debit cards or e-wallets.Please understand the plight of poor Indians.
Just happened to watch a video from the RajyaSabha TV Youtube channel in which Mr.Sitaram Yechury questions in his address on What the government did for the 86% of the population which relies on cash transactions.He also points out various other issues with the demonetization drive. Watch the video here
Image Courtesy: The Hindu