Nagpur: Lambasting the Centre’s demonetisation move, senior Congress leader and former finance minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday said the note ban is worse than a natural calamity, adding that even a natural disaster might not cause so much of trouble.
Chidambaram further said demonetisation is an illusion that it is intended to hurt the rich and benefit poor.
“Don’t see any rich man getting affected. Even a natural calamity might have not cause so much of trouble. The pain and sufferings people are facing in India especially in rural India, is indescribable…it is worse than a natural calamity. Even a natural calamity might not cause so much of trouble,” he added.
He further stated that the confidence in the Indian economy has been severely dented by a number of measures but the most important being demonetisation.
“Look at the numbers, Credit growth, greenfield investment and aggregate demand are at an all time low due to demonetisation. These numbers matter. The government should have consulted at least Yashwant Sinha, he is their own man. They could have consulted Mr Manmohan Singh,” Chidambaram said.
Hitting out at the government, Chidambaram said, “There are over a 100 officers involved in budget making, till today it has never been leaked. What secrecy in this? Nobody consulted. Are you suggesting that the former prime minister if consulted by the present Prime Minister, will betray a secret?”
He said that to assume that India will go from three percent to 100 percent cashless in a matter of few months is a outlandish expectation.
“It is like motherhood and apple pie. No one speaks against them, similarly no one will speak against a cashless society. Inflation has gone down because demand has gone down. But when there is no demand, no production is happening. I am affected. I am not being able to get my Rs. 24,000 and therefore I am complaining. You can’t trivialise a major blow to India’s economy. I’m sorry but the Prime Minister is trivialising a major development in the Indian economy,” he added.