New Delhi, Mar 11: Addressing media persons at AICC headquarters, senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh alleged that the demonetisation was a ‘Tughlaqi Farmaan’, and added that “which had no planning or discussion”.
Congress on Monday upped the ante over demonetization after the new RTI documents revealed that the meeting of the RBI Central Board of Directors objected to all the reasons stated by Prime Minister for note ban.
Accusing the Narendra Modi government of destroying the Indian economy by implementing the demonetisation, he said: “Even today, the nation is bearing its consequences. For last 2.5 years demonetisation has been negatively impacted country’s unorganised sector, agriculture and it led to job loss”.
An RTI reply, obtained by activist Venkatesh Nayak revealed that RBI board had held a meeting on November 8, 2016 at 1730 hrs to discuss the Finance Ministry’s plan to withdraw high value currencies.
On the same day, at 8 pm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation, which banned the legal tender of Rs 1,000 and 500. However, according to Jairam Ramesh, the RTI documents of the minutes of the meeting showed a different picture that the meeting has objected to state reasons for implementing the demonetisation, that is curb black money, stop counterfeit notes, end of terror funding and cashless economy.
On black money, the minutes said, “most of the black money is held not in the form of cash but Real Estates & gold and this move (demonetisation) would not have any material impact on these assets”.
The Congress leader also quoted on the counterfeit currency from the document, that “while any incidents of counterfeiting is a concern, Rs 400 crore as a percentage of the total quantum of currency in circulation is not very significant”.
On cashless economy, according to Ramesh, the RTI documents said that, "Growth rate of economy is the real rate, while growth in currency in circulation is nominal. Hence (demonetisation) doesn't adequately support the recommendation".
Mr Ramesh also alleged that the former RBI governor Urjit Patel did not disclose the outcome of this meeting before the committees such as Public Account Committee, Subordinate Legislative Committee and the Standing Committee of Finance.
“The then governor Mr Patel and the current governor Shaktikanta Das also attended the meeting”, said Mr Ramesh. He said that the new document come out 26 months after demonetisation through RTI, because Modi’s countdown has begun.
“It is evident that all the reasons for which demonetisation was made were denied by the RBI Central Board. However the board gave its nod for the proposal”, the Congress leader pointed out.
He also alleged that the Modi government was systematically trying to destroy the RTI act, which was brought by the first UPA government. UNI