New Delhi: Former Union finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday deprecated the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) making new rules on deposits post demonetisation and finance minister Arun Jaitley contracting them.
The citizens have no clue whom to believe as neither has credibility, he said in a series of tweets, dubbing the RBI notification on Monday on deposits of scrapped notes exceeding Rs 5,000 as “breaking PM”s promise of Nov 8 and FM”s assurance of November 11.”
He was referring to the PM”s televised address to the nation to deposit any amount in banks till December 30 without any questions asked and Jaitley advising people to deposit later when the queues before banks thinned down.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also criticised the RBI”s Monday order, saying “RBI is changing rules like the PM changes his clothes.”
Chidambaram described the RBI order as a desperate attempt, saying “desperate govt resorting to desperate measures.”
Pointing out that the new order will hit the poor & middle class who could not deposit the old notes so far, he asked: “Why can”t we deposit remaining notes until Dec 30 as notified?”
“Hoarders have laundered their old notes. The poor and middle class left high and dry,” he said in another tweet.
The RBI order stating that those depositing more than Rs 5,000 in the scrapped notes will be questioned by the bank officials created a lot of confusion. Jaitley tried to clarify that there is no limit on any person depositing any amount in the old currency, but not repeatedly.
He said anyone going to bank more than once to deposit money “raises suspicion.” It, however, didn’t answer the question most people are asking.
What about people who still haven’t deposited any old currency or found it with family members even after depositing once and who have more than Rs 5,000 to deposit? They were apparently waiting for queues at banks to become shorter, waiting as per Jaitley’s advice. Why should they be questioned?
The finance minister had no answer. All that he could say on Tuesday was: “Whoever has old currency must go and deposit it in one go, if somebody goes everyday it raises suspicion, since exemptions have been lifted, whoever has old currency must deposit it in one go.”
Jaitley went on to deny that the RBI wasn’t prepared for demonetisation and dismissed the talk that there were long queues at banks because of the shortage of the new currency. He insisted that “RBI has more than adequate cash to last not just till December 30 but even more.”
“There has been no day when RBI did not dispense adequate cash to banks,” he added.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)