Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram Wednesday had a slew of questions for the central government over its demonetisation move even as he underlined that they (the Congress party) did not question the objective behind the move. Rather, ANI quoted Chidambaram as saying, “we are only questioning whether these objectives will be achieved”. “I don’t understand why Rs 2,000 notes have been introduced when Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes have been demonetised?”
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Stating that he does not encourage or support unaccounted wealth or income, Chidambaram said “there’s a non-monetised economy, you can’t call it black money”.
Late Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the country by surprise when he, in a televised address, announced that currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations will be withdrawn in a crackdown on black money.
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The former Union Finacae minister said the government’s move could result into harassment for certain sections of society. “(If) the RBI form is mandatory for housewives, small traders and so on, then it’ll be pure and simple harassment, and Congress will condemn it,” he told ANI.
He further stressed that “bulk of this money is legitimate money” and that “government and banks owe a duty to people to exchange it quickly”.
Earlier in the day, Chidambaram’s party colleague and AICC vice-president criticised Modi, saying the decision showed “how little he cares about ordinary people of this country”.
Rahul said the decision has thrown farmers, small shopkeepers and housewives into “utter chaos”, adding that, “real culprits sit tight on their black money stashed abroad or in bullion and real estate”. The Congress V-P further asked the PM: “How is replacing Rs 1000 notes with Rs 2000 notes going to make black money hoarding a lot harder.”