In a bid to assuage concerns about infusion of lower denomination notes into the banking system post demonetisation, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said on Tuesday that greater focus is being put on printing and supply of Rs 500 and lower value notes. The government had initiated the demonetisation move last year in September where old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 ceased to be legal tender. The government’s move came under severe criticism from the opposition parties who termed the move as the “biggest scam of 2016”.
Senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had last month expressed disappointment when he said the country is likely to grow by 6-6.5 per cent in 2016-17, a level much lower that predicted by the Resere Bank of India (RBI) and Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) due to the fallout of note ban.
In a statement to the media, Chidambaram had slammed the move saying, “I am sorry to make the prediction that 2016-17 will end with growth (rate) between 6 and 6.5 per cent, a good one per cent down from the earlier estimate and that means a hit of Rs 1.5 lakh crore on GDP. The GDP this year is Rs 150 lakh crore, so one per cent hit is Rs 1.5 lakh crore.”