In a controversial remark, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said economists were of the opinion that black money helped the Indian economy in times of global recession. “I am very clear on this…black money should not be generated. Economic experts say the magnitude of the global economic crisis at times is not felt in India because of strong (parallel) economy of black money,” he said. “I am opposed to black money. I do not want it,” he said on the sidelines of Indo-Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Car Rally flag off here. His remarks come in the wake of the government’s sudden decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes to stamp out black money, resulting in serpentine queues outside banks and ATMs.
Akhilesh also said that whichever government had troubled the poor, it was shown the door by the masses. “This
government has caused immense pain to commoners,” he said. The chief minister was of the view that demonetisation will not serve the purpose of checking black money. “It’s good that corruption is checked and people become aware that there should not be (any) corruption. But this problem cannot be overcome merely by changing Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes…Those who used to keep such notes are now waiting for Rs 2000 notes…,” Akhilesh had said on Saturday.
Akhilesh recently sent missives to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley urging them to allow Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes at private hospitals and medicine shops till November 30 to ensure medical facilities to the poor. “As Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 were banned in haste, those undergoing treatment at hospitals and nursing homes are facing a lot of problems. I, therefore, request you to intervene and allow private hospitals, nursing homes and medicine shops to accept these notes till at least November 30,” Yadav said.
“Due to the ban, those going to avail medical facilities in hospital are a harried lot. It is proving fatal for them. Allowing (Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes) currency will help people get medical treatment,” he said.
With foreign tourists facing difficulties due to demonetisation, Yadav has directed the state Chief Secretary
to ensure opening of extra counters for them to exchange currencies. As the Centre’s move caught people by surprise, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has demanded a roll back of the decision for a few days in view of the wedding season.
He suggested that people be given a weeks time by the government. BSP chief Mayawati has also said poor people and farmers have been badly hit by the decision, which reminded people of the dark days of Emergency imposed by the then Congress government.