Economy

Demonetisation Debate Reaches Fever Pitch As BJP Fires Economy Salvo Against Rahul Gandhi Accusing Him Of 'hallucinating On Crony Capitalism'. Read Here

Written By Ankit Prasad | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • The BJP has intensified its counter-attack on Rahul Gandhi calling his allegation of crony capitalism a 'hallucination'
  • The Congress president had tried to highlight what he said was the real reason for demonetisation, after the RBI announced how much demonetised cash had been returned
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has defended demonetisation extolling its effects

The BJP has taken on Rahul Gandhi's high-decibel demonetisation attack issued at a news briefing on Thursday, calling the Congress president's PM Modi-crony capitalists theory a 'hallucination'.

Taking to Twitter, the BJP has touted achievements of the Modi government, claiming the following:

  • That five crore Indians were lifted from poverty
  • That housing was ensured for five crore people
  • That toilets were provided for 8 crore citizens
  • Gas connections were given to 5 crore women
  • Bank accounts were opened for 30 crore poor people

It has gone on to allege that "Congress and Rahul Gandhi's pain on demonetisation is understandable" and accused him of ignoring the multiple benefits of demonetisation as highlighted by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his blog post.

Further, the BJP has counter-levelled a crony-capitalism charge at the former UPA government, accusing it of engaging in 'phone banking' to ensure friends of Rahul Gandhi got big loans that have resulted in NPAs. It has contrasted this with the Modi government, under which, the BJP says, 13 crore Indians have got Mudra loans. It concludes: UPA punished small and medium business while NDA helped the sector grow leaps and bounds

A massive debate over the efficacy of demonetisation had broken out following the revelation in the RBI's annual report that of the total value of now invalidated Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes that were in circulation on the day of demonetisation, i.e. November 8, 2016,  99.3% made its way back to the RBI. This prompted many parties to claim that the move had failed in clamping down on black money, as it was intended, to which the Finance Minister hit back saying that the larger purpose of the move was to make India a more tax compliant society.

READ | RBI On Demonetisation: Of Total Value Of Demonetised Notes On November 8, 2016, Currency Equivalent To 99.3% Has Been Returned

Jaitley provided the following benefits of demonetisation:

  • Deposits have caused the anonymity about the owner of the cash to disappear. Where amount deposited is disproportionate to income, inquiry may be conducted. He said that 1.8 million depositors have been identified.
  • The number of income tax returns filed has increased from 3.8 crore in March 2014 to 6.86 crore in 2017-18.
  • Significant rises in new returns filed in the two years following demonetisation - 85.5 lakh and 1.07 crore respectively
  • Income tax collections have increased from Rs 6.38 lakh crore in 2013-14 to Rs 10.02 lakh crore in 2017-18, and there has been a doubling of the rate of growth of tax collections since demonetisation.

Jaitley concluded:

This is the positive impact of the Demonetisation. More formalisation of the Economy, More Money in the System, Higher Tax Revenue, Higher Expenditure, Higher Growth after the first two quarters.

READ | Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Denies That Demonetisation Was Unsuccessful; States Larger Purpose Even As Rahul Gandhi Attacks

Just a short while after Jaitley's defence of demonetisation, however, Rahul Gandhi had held a news briefing where he had made a number of crony capitalism charges, claiming that the real reason behind demonetisation was to take money from the people of India and to give it to the Prime Minister's 15-20 crony capitalist friends. Aside from adopting a cavalier attitude and brushing off defamation suits that have been filed against Congress leaders for their repeated allegations of scam in the Rafale deal against Anil Ambani's Reliance group companies, Rahul Gandhi also introduced a new member into the 'crony capitalists', stating without providing any proof that American E-commerce giant Amazon was also one of the intended beneficiaries of demonetisation at the expense of India's SMEs.

WATCH | Rahul Gandhi's Newest Conspiracy Theory: 'PM Modi Conspired With Top Industrialists Including Amazon For Demonetisation'

The face-off over Rafale and demonetisation, as well as Rahul Gandhi's recent remarks made during his Europe trip have resulted in a heightening of the ferocity of political attacks exchanged by the BJP and Congress. While the Congress president has been tweeting exchanges with the Finance Minister, BJP party president Amit Shah has accused Rahul Gandhi of lying.

BJP spokesperson Dr Sambit Patra, who addressed a news briefing following Rahul Gandhi's demonetisation attack, fired back by spelling out what he called the "A-Z of Congress party corruption":

 

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