The Congress and other Opposition parties, including TDP and TMC, on Thursday recalled demonetisation as an “ill-fated” and “ill-thought” exercise by the Modi Government that unleashed havoc on the Indian economy.
The Congress has announced that it will hold a nationwide protest on Friday to mark the second anniversary of demonetisation and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should apologise to the people for “ruining and wrecking” the economy.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the “scars and wounds” caused by demonetisation is getting more visible with time and the decision’s second anniversary is a day to remember how “economic misadventures” can roil the nation. Congress president Rahul Gandhi described demonetisation as a “tragedy” that destroyed millions of lives.
While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she had been describing it as a “dark day” ever since demonetisation was announced by the Prime Minister, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu dubbed demonetisation a disaster and claimed the country had still not overcome the economic ‘setback’ caused by the BJP Government’s ‘hasty’ decisions.
Naidu was part of the NDA when the demonetisation was implemented and last week he joined hands with the Congress.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury alleged that Prime Minister through note ban had “singlehandedly” destroyed the livelihood of people and the conomy of the country. The Government’s demonetisation move was a disaster for the economy and the people, the CPI(M) general secretary said.
While Manmohan Singh asked the Government to not resort to further unorthodox, short-term economic measures that can cause any more uncertainty in the economy, Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Government’s move was a carefully planned “criminal financial scam” whose full truth is yet to be revealed.
“Notebandi impacted every single person, regardless of age, gender, religion, occupation or creed. It is often said that time is a great healer. But unfortunately, in the case of demonetisation, the scars and wounds of demonetisation are only getting more visible with time,” the former prime minister said.
The deeper ramifications of ‘notebandi’ are still unravelling, he said. Small and medium businesses that are the cornerstone of India’s economy are yet to recover from the demonetisation shock, Singh asserted.
“This has had a direct impact on employment as the economy continues to struggle to create enough new jobs for our youth,” he said, adding that the financial markets are volatile as the liquidity crisis wrought by demonetisation is taking its eventual toll on infrastructure lenders and non-bank financial services firms.
In his strong criticism of demonetisation, Singh said the full impact of the demonetisation exercise is yet to be understood and experienced. “With a depreciating currency and rising global oil prices, macro-economic headwinds are also starting to blow now. “It is therefore prudent to not resort to further unorthodox, short-term economic measures that can cause any more uncertainty in the economy and financial markets.” Singh also urged the Government to restore certainty and visibility in economic policies.
“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,” Rahul Gandhi said in a statement.