As much as 97 per cent of currency notes, outlawed by the government on November 8, 2016, have reportedly returned to banks, posing a huge question mark on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move.
According to a report by Bloomberg, quoting sources in the know, banks have received 14.97 trillion rupees ($220 billion) as of December 30, which was the deadline set by the government for individuals to return their currency notes. The government and the RBI faced criticism for their inability to implement the move in an efficient manner, continuing to cause hardships to citizens across the country.
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Politically, too, the Modi government has faced immense criticism from the Opposition as well as from within the ruling National Democractic Alliance with ally Shiv Sena stating that demonetisation had created a sense of fear that was witnessed during the British Rule.
“People are alive and that is why these are ‘acche din’. Wool is being pulled over your eyes when they claim that people are supporting demonetisation,” Uddhav Thackeray said.
Opposition parties led by the Congress have called for a probe into the Prime Minister’s move to demonetise note asking that a committee be setup and a White Paper be presented in Parliament.
The demonetisation move has also hit the pace of announcements of new investment proposals during the quarter ended December 2016. New investment proposals worth Rs 125,000 crore were observed during the quarter ended December 2016 as against Rs 236,000 crore per quarter on average in the preceding nine quarters of the Modi government, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said.
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New investments worth Rs 2,097 crore were announced, on an average, per day during the 39 pre-demonetisation days from October 1 through November 8. “This average dropped sharply by 61 per cent to Rs 824 crore during the post-demonetisation period. The number of projects announced per day dropped from 6 to 3 by a similar comparison,” CMIE said.
The Modi government, however, has defended its move saying demonetisation will have a positive impact on the country’s economy in the long run. Since November 8, the BJP-led government has urged citizens to make the transition from cash to digital payments even announcing discounts and prizes for those who do.