Demonetisation: Manmohan Singh’s full speech in Rajya Sabha

Manmohan Singh that the implementation of the scheme looked poor on the PMO and the RBI both.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 24, 2016 2:56 pm
demonetisation, manmohan singh, cash crunch, old Rs 500 note, new Rs 2000 note, rajya sabha, parliament, congress, narendra modi Former prime minister Manmohan Singh during the demonetisation debate. (Source: ANI)

Calling it a ‘monumental mismanagement’, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said that the demonetisation of high value currency notes has caused great distress to the common man of the country. He remarked that the GDP of the country could shrink by 2 percentage-points due to the way it has been implemented.

WATCH VIDEO: Former PM Dr Manmohan Singh Says Demonetisation Will Hit Growth

Here is the full text of Manmohan Singh’s full speech in Rajya Sabha:

I rise to highlight some of the problems that have risen after the decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.

Prime Minister has been arguing that this is the way to curb black money, to prevent growth of forfeiture currency notes and also to help in control of terrorist finance activities. I do not disagree with these objectives. But I do want to point out this that in the process of demonetisation monumental mismanagement has been undertaken about which today there is no two opinions in the country as a whole. Even those who say that this measure will do harm or cause distress in the short term but be in the interests of the country in the long run should be reminded of what John Keynes said once,” In the long run all of us are dead.”

And therefore, it is important to take note of grievances of the ordinary people who have suffered as a result of this imposition on the country overnight by the Prime Minister. And I say so with all responsibilities, that we do not know what will be the final outcome.

Prime Minister has said that we should wait for 50 days. Well 50 days is a short period. But for those who are poor and from the deprived sections of the society even 50 days torture can bring about disastrous effects. And that’s why about 60 to 65 people have lost their lives, maybe more. And what has been done can weaken and erode our people’s confidence in the currency system and in the banking system.

I would like to know from the Prime Minister the name of any country he may think of where people have deposited their money in the banks but they are not allowed to withdraw their money. This alone,I think, is enough to condemn what has been done in the name of greater good of the people of the country.

And Sir, I would further like to point out that in my opinion that the way the scheme has been implemented will hurt agricultural growth in our country, will hurt small industry, will hurt all those people who are in the informal sector of the economy. And my own feeling is that the national income, that is the GDP, can decline by about 2 per cent as a result of what has been done. This is an underestimate, not an overestimate. Therefore, I feel that the Prime Minister must come up with some constructive proposal on how we can implement this scheme and at the same time prevent this distress that has been caused to the common people.

It is no good that everyday the banking system comes with modification of the rules, the conditions under which the people can withdraw money. That reflects very poorly on the Prime Minister’s office, on the Finance Minister’s office and on the Reserve Bank of India. I am very sorry that the Reserve Bank of India has been exposed to this sort of criticism which I think is fully justified.

I, therefore, would not like to say much more than this. I urge upon the Prime Minister to find practical, pragmatic ways and means to relieve the distress of the people who happen to be a great majority. After all, 90 per cent of our people work in the informal sector, 55 per cent of our workers in agriculture are reeling in distress. The cooperative banking system which serves large number of people in the rural areas is non-functional and has been prevented from handling cash. So, in all these measures convince me that the way this scheme has been implemented is a monumental management failure, and in fact, it is a case of organised loot, legalised plunder of the common people.

With these words, sir, I conclude. It is not my intention to pick holes in what one side does or another side does. But I sincerely hope that the Prime Minister will view that this late hour will help us to find practical, pragmatic ways and means to provide relief to the suffering of the people of this country. Thank you.

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First Published on: November 24, 2016 1:55 pm
  1. j
    joash16 john
    Mar 3, 2017 at 5:46 am
    Firmer PL is the one why India is developing in international business ,service in the country etcdia can now conduct international business because of globalisation which was bought forth by this former PL. Services like airlines have just got better with the entry of private sector which is due to LIBRALISATION AND PRIVATISATION .lt;br/gt;He should be morerespected on any matter and at cause he is an educated man and not just a chaiwala
    Reply
    1. B
      Baban
      Nov 24, 2016 at 10:05 am
      Mr. Manmohan Singh - Mr. Coal Minister. - Organized LOOT??? lt;br/gt;Really???lt;br/gt;What was 2G scam - what was coal gate - what was National Herald???lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The people of the country (in spite of the media) like India Express and NDTV are capable to see through your hallow arguments.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Don't insult the intelligence of the people.lt;br/gt;This speech is a political suicide - even though you may gain some points with congress leadership.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;But then - one can argue how can the deadwood kill themselves.
      Reply
      1. D
        D k
        Nov 25, 2016 at 2:36 am
        It will be impractical for me to talk about nation as I am not so competent. However I failed to understand, why I can not use my tax paid money for my own purpose? Why I will not get a bill in most of my purchase?? May be it including services? Pl take a relative international view. Why am I not allowed to walk on a footpath as it is occupied? Why I will have to drink unhealthy water? Why my buying power is reducing sharply and I am becoming from poor to very poor on a fixed income ?? Can we take a relative international look to understand our status??What is the point of blaming any one who is created by us.. what is the guarantee that the next creation will not give the same trouble?? I feel, I must understand what is my basic minimum lawful demand and I must be very demanding ...as I converts to we.
        Reply
        1. K
          Kds
          Nov 24, 2016 at 4:17 pm
          Loot, per, mismanagement..... i was just wondering whether he read some old book on himself last night... how ironic!!!😂😂😂😂
          Reply
          1. I
            Indian
            Nov 24, 2016 at 12:32 pm
            Awesome speech Sir. Proud of you.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Wish Modi had any knowledge.
            Reply
            1. G
              Girish
              Nov 24, 2016 at 10:54 am
              Pappu has answers to this question.
              Reply
              1. G
                Girish
                Nov 24, 2016 at 11:05 am
                Seems experienced lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Advisor.
                Reply
                1. G
                  Girish
                  Nov 24, 2016 at 11:03 am
                  There countries in Africa, which are less developed than India. They are using mobile money. lt;br/gt;If country is not developed, who should be blamed? lt;br/gt;The one who is ruling for less than 3 years? lt;br/gt;Or lt;br/gt;Those who ruled decades and brought to a stage we are in?
                  Reply
                  1. N
                    Nbalu two
                    Nov 24, 2016 at 10:05 am
                    In the parliament there is mutually targeted criticism.manmohansingh is not an ordinary fellow. He was RBI governor. Now only he is telling something. When he is able to speak please pay heed to his suggestions.
                    Reply
                    1. N
                      Ntse
                      Nov 27, 2016 at 5:13 am
                      Well done!!!proud
                      Reply
                      1. T
                        Tuten Roy
                        Nov 24, 2016 at 9:40 am
                        Sorry but I cannot but say that this sort of monumental mimanagement WAS not expected from such a wily politician - Till today there is no currency notes available in ATMs around my place barring 2000/- which is of little use in everyday activities ... Can visualise what the rural potion is facing. I maintain maybe an out of the book move that all supported But due to implementation without proper thought is causing tremendous confusion amongst people on the street - Not an issue of politics but easing of monetary constraints needed fast.
                        Reply
                        1. V
                          Vi
                          Nov 26, 2016 at 8:21 pm
                          Totally agree with the honourable former PM. It would be interesting to know how the 2% drop in GDP has been calculated. Am sure the umption in the model used by all experienced economists have never been incorrect@!!
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            acharaj
                            Nov 24, 2016 at 8:47 am
                            Better use of parliament.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Existing government is lack of governance, intellect and standards. Whims and acting won't make country progress but collapse.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The PM is also lacking a single stand
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              A N
                              Nov 24, 2016 at 9:14 am
                              It is alright if Mr Manmohan Singh says there has been mive mismanagement. To an extent there has been. Particularly by the RBI. But his charge of organised loot and legalised per does sound more than a little thick. After all he had headed the government in which people like Kalmadi and Raja etc had thrived. We gad the 3G scam, the Coalgate scam and the Commonwealth games scam. Now those were organised loots and legalised pers.
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                Ajay G
                                Nov 24, 2016 at 11:29 am
                                Confidence of people in currency system and banking system will erode lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt; - Is that not the way to become digital and switch to plastic money and bring transparency lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;One of the objectives achieved. lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;Loss of confidence in currency system means bribe will be in form of goods, at lower level. lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;At higher level, bribe will be Share in Companies, transfer of property, Free overseas holiday trips, Recommendation for a Job !!!
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  Ajay
                                  Nov 24, 2016 at 10:56 am
                                  Joke of the day! This man had10 full years to speak....when he's the PM of this country(albeit a shadow one). But he remained "maun". And, now he speaks..........anybody listening(except, ofcourse some media house like Indian Express)??
                                  Reply
                                  1. T
                                    Tushar
                                    Nov 24, 2016 at 9:34 am
                                    With due respect, Dear Manmohansinghji, its nice to hear "John Keynes said once,” In the long run all of us are dead.”" but does that mean we should not think of next generations and earn money whatever way we get it. I think in hidden lines you support wrong ways.
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      Al
                                      Nov 24, 2016 at 10:03 am
                                      John Keynes- "In the long run all of us are dead"??? lt;br/gt;Is that why your party did not do anything since independence as your party ruled the country during this period for most of the years, and that definitely doe not mean nothing is to be done for the future generations. At least something is being done by this govt.
                                      Reply
                                      1. A
                                        Allan Raju
                                        Nov 24, 2016 at 10:05 am
                                        A few facts:lt;br/gt;1.PM Modi started planning for demonetization six months agolt;br/gt;2.RBI Gov Raghuram Rajan was replaced 2 months agolt;br/gt;3.Urjit Patel, was a former top management employee of Reliance
                                        Reply
                                        1. A
                                          Allan Raju
                                          Nov 24, 2016 at 9:52 am
                                          I feel this was a move done perhaps with Good intentions, but the implementation failure is very profound. Furthermore, the PM said he started planning this is February this year; probably why the the legendary RBI Gov Raghram Rajan was replaced by a 'showpiece' Mr. Urjit Patel, just two months back. Mr. Urjit Patel has literally said nothing about a matter which is directly under the RBI, the 'monetary supply'. Such a jolt is very bad for the economy. India was like the 'Usain Bolt' in terms of GDP growth, but now midway, its like 'Usain' tried to do smthng different, pulled an hamstring and will take some time to recover.
                                          Reply
                                          1. A
                                            AMIT DUNGARWAL
                                            Nov 24, 2016 at 9:07 am
                                            NM Has Taken All Measures Which Could Not Be Implemented By MM As He Was Not Too Free To Act
                                            Reply
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