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The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance here on Thursday decided to call representatives of several Union ministries and states to assess the impact of demonetisation on economy.
Disclosing this, sources said the 31-member committee, headed by former corporate affairs minister and senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily, asked key finance ministry officials at its meeting today if any alternative course could have achieved the same goals as demonetisation. The objectives of the unusual government move — as stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley on different occasions — were checking black money, curbing terror-funding and promoting digitalisation of payments. Therefore, when the Opposition chose to observe the first anniversary of the demonetisation yesterday as a “black-day”, the BJP had matched it by observing it as an anti-black money day.
The panel is seized of 18 subjects, including “Demonetisation of Indian Currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 and ramifications thereof”. Modi had announced the demonetisation of high-currency notes through a country-wide TV address on November 8 last year.
Several senior officers — Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar and CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra — explained to members different aspects of the note-ban in detail.
Sources said many members were of the view that the committee required more information for assessing the impact of demonetisation. Therefore, the panel decided to call representative of ministries like Agriculture and Commerce for the purpose. The panel also decided to solicit the views of state governments on the issue.
Some members expressed their concern over the effect of demonetisation on the country’s image for investors considering that India was no longer the fastest-growing big economy as was evident from the latest GDP growth data.