Ahead of Bihar polls, Cong demands White Paper on demonitisation

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New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) Just five days ahead of the first phase of elections to the Bihar Assembly, the Congress on Friday again raked up the 2016 demonetisation, dubbing it “notebadli and not notebandi” and demanding a White Paper by the Centre on the issue.
Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh said: “The Indian economy is still reeling under the aftershocks of this ill-advised move. Before starting to accomplish a goal, its objective need to be kept in mind. Unfortunately, the Modi government, in its confusion and desperation, kept changing the goalposts according to the outcome.”
“In a couple of weeks, we will the 4th anniversary, the government should come out with a White Paper to highlight the cost and benefits of this Tughlaki diktat,” said Vallabh.
On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and issuance of new currency in its place in Rs 500 and RS 2,000 denominations.
The Congress leader added: “It started as an exercise supposedly to curb black money and as a move to make India a cashless economy, but the government kept changing the narrative as none of the objectives stated earlier could be achieved.”
Vallabh claimed that out of Rs 15.44 lakh crore in old currency, the Modi government projected that about Rs 3-4 lakh crore was black money and hence would not come back to the banking system as deposits.
“The decision was taken based on an assumption with no solid reasoning or research and none of the economic experts were consulted or their advice adhered to,” the Congress leader remarked.
“The RBI ‘gained’ Rs 16,000 crore but ‘spent’ Rs 25,391 crore in printing of new notes,” he remarked.
The Congress leader cited the RBI report and said of the demonetised notes, 99 per cent were returned to the bank. “According to the RBI data, only 0.0013 per cent of the banned notes were found to be Fake Indian Currency Notes’; rest 99.9987 per cent were valid currency notes,” Vallabh said.
“The Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank, whose Directors include BJP leader and present Union Home Minister Amit Shah (also its past chairman), and his close associates received the highest amount of old demonetised notes, that is, a whopping Rs 745.58 crore in just 5 days between November 10, 2016 and November 14, 2016,” he alleged.
The Congress leader said that 11 district cooperative banks in Gujarat headed by BJP leaders, including Amit Shah, recorded deposit of old notes totalling Rs 3,118.51 crore within these five days.
Vallabh also brought up the issue of Income Tax raid on a BJP functionary in Surat and alleged that he was being silenced for raising questions on the note exchange scam.
“This week, Surat BJP Vice-President PVS Sharma came out with serious allegations on tax evasion after demonetisation against a prominent jeweller based in Surat. The jeweller allegedly made sales of Rs 96.3 crore post 8.30pm on November 8, 2016.”

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