Demonetisation a carefully planned 'criminal financial scam'; full truth not yet out: Rahul
Describing demonetisation as a "tragedy" that destroyed millions of lives, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday alleged that the government's move was a carefully planned "criminal financial scam" whose full truth is yet to be revealed.
On the second anniversary of note ban, he also alleged that demonetisation was a planned "brutal conspiracy" and a "shrewd scheme" to convert the black money of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "suit-booted friends".
"India will discover, no matter how the government tries to hide it, that demonetisation wasn't just an ill-conceived and poorly executed economic policy with 'innocent intent', but a carefully planned, criminal financial scam," Gandhi said in a statement.
"The full truth about demonetisation is not out yet. India's people will not rest till it is," he said.
His remarks came after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made a strong defence, saying demonetisation resulted in formalisation of economy and increased tax base, with the government earmarking more resources for the poor and infrastructure development.
In his statement, Gandhi said on the second anniversary of the prime minister's "monumental blunder, the government's spin-doctors, including our incompetent finance minister, have the unenviable task of defending an indefensible, criminal policy".
"Demonetisation was a tragedy. India has faced many tragedies in its past. Many a time have envious, external enemies tried to hurt us. But demonetisation is unique in the history of our tragedies because it was a self-inflicted, suicidal attack that destroyed millions of lives and ruined thousands of India's small businesses," he alleged.
He claimed that the worst hit by demonetisation were the poorest of the poor, who he said were forced to queue for days to exchange their meagre savings.
Modi's demonetisation cost India over one and a half million jobs and wiped out at least 1 per cent from India's GDP, Gandhi alleged.
"November 8th will forever go down in the history of India, as a day of infamy. Two years ago, on this day, Prime Minister Modi unleashed the tyranny of demonetisation on the nation.
"At eight that night, he appeared on television to deliver a unilateral announcement, that we now know didn't even have the support of his own economic advisors. With that one declaration of demonetisation, Mr Modi took 86% of India's currency out of circulation, bringing our economy to a grinding halt," he said.
According to Gandhi, over 120 Indians died in those queues, millions of small and medium businesses were "smashed" and the entire informal sector "devastated".
Since 2016, economists around the world have analysed the crippling impact of demonetisation, concluding that demonetisation was an "unmitigated disaster" that didn't meet a single of its stated objectives, Gandhi said, adding that the list of the "supposed objectives" has grown over time.
"From a war against counterfeit currency and terrorism, to permanently removing the scourge of black money; from increasing savings to forcing a shift to digital transactions; not a single stated objective of the government's has been met," he said.
All that was accomplished was a disaster, he alleged.
Earlier, in a tweet, he said, "Note ban was a premeditated brutal conspiracy. This scam was a shrewd scheme to convert the black money of Prime Minister's suit-booted friends to white. Nothing was innocent in this scam. Drawing any other meaning of it would be an insult to the intelligence of the nation." PTI ASK ZMN
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