Former Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh has issued a press statement taking on the Modi government over Demonetisation, which took place two years ago, on November 8, 2016, as the then Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes ceased to be legal tender and were replaced by new currency. Here is the full statement:
Today marks the second anniversary of the ill-fated and ill-thought demonetisation exercise that the Narendra Modi government undertook in 2016. The havoc that it unleashed on the Indian economy and society is now evident to everyone. 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. Beyond the steep drop in headline GDP growth numbers after demonetisation, the deeper ramifications of notebandi are still unraveling. Small and medium businesses that are the cornerstone of India’s economy are yet to recover from the demonetisation shock. This has had a direct impact on employment as the economy continues to struggle to create enough new jobs for our youth. 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. We are yet to understand and experience the full impact of the demonetisation exercise. 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. I urge the government to restore certainty and visibility in economic policies. Today is a day to remember how economic misadventures can roil the nation for a long time and understand that economic policymaking should be handled with thought and care.
The post by Dr Manmohan Singh comes amid the Opposition attempting to pressurise the government by observing demonetisation's anniversary as a 'black day'. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who was among the first leaders to take a strong stand against the move on the day it was announced, has also tweeted on the matter, writing:
"Today is the second anniversary of #DeMonetisation disaster. From the moment it was announced I said so. Renowned economists, common people and all experts now all agree. The government cheated our nation with this big #DeMonetisation scam. It ruined the economy and the lives of millions. People will punish those who did this"