Demonetisation, a month after: A look back at everything that’s happened so far

Everything that has happened after the demonetisation announcement on November 8.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 8, 2016 7:36 pm
demonetisation, demonetisation news, new notes, demonetisation protests, parliament, parliament news, narendra modi, rbi, rbi demonetisation, rbi demonetisation guidelines, india news People queue up outside a bank to withdraw cash in Bikaner on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

One month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of high-value currency notes, the country is still grappling with cash crunch. The Reserve Bank of India, however, has announced that with three weeks left for the December 30 deadline to return the scrapped currency notes, as much as 81 per cent, or Rs 11.55 lakh crore — out of a value of Rs 14.17 lakh crore notes in circulation at the end of March 2016 — has already come back into the banking system.

WATCH VIDEO | One Month Of Demonetisation: Public Reaction

Here is all that has happened since the announcement on November 8:

The promise of curbing black money

In his televised address, the Prime Minister said that the demonetisation move was aimed at breaking “the grip of corruption and black money” in the country. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the demonetisation scheme was a significant step towards dealing with corruption, black money, fake notes and terrorism. Across party lines, the move was lauded too for being a step in the right direction towards curbing the black money menace. A month later though, black money has taken a backseat in the government’s narrative with “cashless economy” becoming the main focus. RBI Governor Urjit Patel has also urged people to start using cash substitutes like debit cards and digital wallets, saying it would help India “leapfrog into a less cash-use economy at par with more developed nations.”

Cash crunch across the country

Soon after the scheme was announced, there were long and serpentine queues outside banks and ATMs. One month on, people continue to deal with the cash crunch. Queues outside banks continue even as banks across public and private sectors have complain of not having enough cash to meet the people’s needs. In the face of all this, finance minister on Wednesday said the “seven-decade old normal” that existed in society had been “disrupted” — which was needed for the country to move towards a “new normal”.

WATCH VIDEO | Government To Waive Service Tax On Debit, Credit Card Transactions Of Up To Rs 2,000

Opposition in Parliament

With the government struggling to inject new currency notes into the system, the Opposition has stalled functioning of Parliament. Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was the loudest voice to shun the move as “draconian” soon after it was announced. Eight days later, when the Parliament’s winter session started, all the Opposition leaders had followed suit. Since then, both houses have been adjourned several times over Opposition protests. Former PM and Congress leader Manmohan Singh criticised the move in Parliament calling it a monumental mismanagement. PM Modi is yet to speak about demonetisation in parliament. Several union minister including Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and Manohar Parrikar have defended the move in both the houses.

RBI’s guidelines

The government and the RBI have changed rules for withdrawal, exchange and deposit of cash several times since demonetisation. In days that followed the roll-out of new currency notes on November 10, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das held several press conferences to announce new rules. The use of old notes was completely scrapped out, and then the deadline was extended for petrol pumps, tolls and government medical stores. ATM withdrawal limits were repeatedly changed from Rs 4,000 to Rs 2500 to Rs 2,000, the current cap. RBI governor Urjit Patel has been largely silent amid all this. RBI on Wednesday said that demonetisation is still unfolding and that at this point, it was difficult to specify the exact date for lifting curbs on the daily and weekly limits on withdrawal of cash from ATMs and bank branches.

WATCH VIDEO | Parliament: BJP & Congress Engage In War Of Words Over Demonetisation

Deaths caused due to the effects of demonetisation

In the parliament on Wednesday, Congress asked who was responsible for the ‘deaths of 84 people who have died due to the hardships faced after the unplanned demonetisation.’ Jaitely, however, defended the decision and said that PM Modi had the “broad shoulders to face the consequences of this decision”, which has caused some “pain in transition” but also put India on the cusp of major change.

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  1. Rakesh Kochhar
    Dec 8, 2016 at 9:27 am
    Demonetisation has failed as nearly all the circulating money has come back because of loop s the govt had left . It was a bold experiment which was poorly executed . Thinking dispionately, govt should push for more measures like curbing Benami property and cleansing elections . People have faith in Modi but his team has to deliver .
    1. V
      Dec 9, 2016 at 7:13 am
      Demonetisation has put pressure on black money holders.Majority of big circulation notes are now recorded in banking transactions and easy for govt. to find black money and impose taxes on black money who have deposited beyond their source of income.
      1. V
        Dec 9, 2016 at 7:14 am
        Wait for new year and all major black money holders will be behind the bars.
        1. N
          NAVIN ASTI
          Dec 8, 2016 at 8:38 am
          The difficulties are bound to occur for such a big move over such a big country that too keeping it totally successfully secretmon man on the road is prepared to suffer the hardships.Reasons are that the graft business which was in full form during Raul Vinci's Congress time has come to big zero.People know that their hard-earned money will not go to entertain mad actions of Congress and Chi-fund specialist TMC.These days only politicians are opposing this move.If they have least sympathy for common man,where were they during 2G,CWG,Choppergate,Coalgate,Sharda,Narad and what not?Beware!Don't try to fight for your black money in the name of poors?Public knows everything.Moreover in the last 2 1/2 years Modi has not taken any action which is against one community and favoring other community.While what you people have done?Sachar commission and its implementation for one community.UPA's statement and stand for 'Minorities and especially Muslims should have first access over country's resources',Preventing immersions of Durga-Pooja idols on Dera.If a Govt.treats all communities at par,then public can support it by tolerating some hardships.Even some politicians were shamelessly pleading to give some time.What a ridiculous stand as if public is fool!
          1. D
            Dec 8, 2016 at 7:41 am
            A huge majority has liked demonetization despite inconvenience. interest rate,EMIs,property prices etc will fall. middle cl will again vote Modi to poeer. media's negative reporting doesnot change reality. pressutess can do anything they want.
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