Taking potshots at the Centre, former Union minister P Chidambaram on Monday said that the decision to implement note ban in 2016 without the formal prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India central board only exposed the “incompetence” of the Narendra Modi-led government. With the Lok Sabha elections around the corner, Chidambaram said the “people will deliver their verdict” as a response to the note ban decision.
In a series of tweets, the senior Congress leader accused the ruling BJP government of overlooking RBI’s warning of short-term negative impacts, and thereby “destroying the livelihood of millions of people”.
“Minutes of the RBI Board meeting of 8-11-2016 exposes the incompetence of the government that announced demonetisation,” Chidambaram said. He added, “Despite warning by RBI that none of the reasons for demonetisation was justified, the government went ahead and destroyed the livelihood of millions of people.”
Without naming anyone, Chidambaram alleged that a RBI Governor was forced to tender his resignation eventually. “Eventually, the poor Governor of RBI paid the price for capitulation and resigned.”
He added, “The authors of demonetisation are still sitting pretty on their thrones. I am sure the people will deliver their verdict.”
The demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, which saw 86 per cent of high-value currency going out of circulation, was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016, even before formal approval by the RBI central board, an RTI query has revealed.
While the Urjit Patel-led RBI board had met just two-and-a-half hours before Modi’s announcement, the minutes of the meeting were signed by the RBI governor five weeks later on December 15, 2016.
Last year, the Indian Express had reported that according to the minutes of the 561st meeting of the RBI’s Central Board, which was convened hurriedly in New Delhi at 5.30 pm on November 6, the central bank’s directors described the move as “commendable” but also warned that demonetisation “will have a short-term negative effect on the GDP for the current year”.