Panaji: Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh today said although the Modi government’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was aimed at keeping a check on black money, it has been done “without adequate precaution and preparation”.
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He alleged that the move has put daily wage earners, rather than the “big people”, in difficult situation.
He criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the demonetisation decision was “arbitrarily” taken by him and not by the Union Cabinet.
“It is a decision to curb black money. Any decision to curb black money is welcome. But black money is with the big people, who don’t keep cash. They have got investment in properties, jewellery, abroad in tax havens. No big corporate house keeps cash,” Singh told PTI here today.
“This whole exercise has been done to curb black money or to fight terrorism or to sort of to see that the counterfeit notes are not in circulation has been done without adequate precaution and preparation,” the AICC general secretary claimed.
“As far as I know, the Cabinet never met to take this decision, it was the decision taken arbitrarily by the Prime Minister,” he added.
“The whole exercise is not against the big people. It has put even a daily wage earner into problem. Most of these labourers, particularly in metro cities or state like Goa, come from outside. They earn around Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 a week and get the payment in Rs 500 note. They are in a problem,” Singh said.
“Do you think labourer or middle class will have black money? The black money is into real estate, jewellery, in gold. Yesterday, till late night people were purchasing gold even at the rate of Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 per 10 grams. What was the government doing? If they wanted to catch black money they could have raided the business going on after 10 pm in jewellery shop,” he said.
Singh further said, “I had a discussion with one of the top bankers from the public sector unit. I was told that 85 per cent of the currency in this country was of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations. It means that out of the total circulation of over Rs 8 lakh crore, about Rs 6 lakh crore are of denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 and about Rs one to Rs one and half lakh crore are of Rs 100 denomination or less.”
“Even today, the requirement of about Rs 6.5 lakh crore, which has been withdrawn in the form of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, has not been replaced in the market. Everyone wants a Rs 100 note that is also out of circulation,” Singh said.