Free Press Journal

Demonetisation: Change, and the opposition to it


Mumbai: In the financial city, members of four different parties – Dinesh Trivedi, MP and former railways minister for TMC; Pavan Varma, former MP (RS) and national spokesperson, JD (U); Milind Deora, former union minister of state and MP, INC; and Siddharth Nath Singh, national secretary, BJP – gathered to discuss on ways of ‘achieving 10 per cent GDP growth by 2020′. However, this discussion was taken over by demonetisation and its concerns.

The decision of the government comes at a time when the global markets are unstable and India has been attracting foreign investments through various projects, said Deora. “(Today), large foreign investors and economists are concerned over the move of the government,” said Deora. The impact of this move will be huge in the Indian economy.

Reiterating the views of many in the opposition, Deora said that it is not a well-thought out approach. Varma appreciated the initiative of the government but questions the government on its lack of preparedness. Varma added that farmers are in distress, 1.5 crore marriages are expected to take place around November- December, housewives are affected and many others are facing challenges. Trivedi added it would take 2-3 months for the cash to get back into the system. “The ripple effect of this on the society is huge,” Trivedi said. “We are a cashless society today as we don’t have any money in our system. You cannot let the country go into a crisis.” He also goes on to claim that exchange of notes will soon be stopped completely by the government. But this would be a major setback for Indians who do not have a bank account to deposit their old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes.

Stating that the jury is out, Varma added that the move is contradictory to economies. He also pointed out that agricultural productivity had fallen and hardship in agriculture sector would increase. He stated, “GDP will come down.”Commenting about cashless economy, Deora said many cashless economies are worried about this as there has been increasing cyber crime. “Cashless countries are thinking if cashless society is good.” Varma who is in favour of cashless society said, “The real antidote for corruption is having no human intervention.” He stated that if payment is done online that there is no form of corruption. Replying to all the comments, Singh said, “There is always opposition to change.” He went on to say that BJP took a gamble by taking this decision and traders communities belong to BJP, still the party took this call. He added that there was so much money lying out of the banking system that it had to get it back and this was the only way. He added that the country needed money and this was the way to get it. He further said that in order to achieve double digit growth political will is required along with several reforms to help strengthen the economy.