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Thursday, Dec 01, 2022

Delhi CM vs LG: a Rs 1,400 crore war of words

As AAP levels a demonetisation charge at LG Saxena, a look back at the 2016 decision in numbers

Delhi L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena (left) and CM Arvind Kejriwal (Express File Photo)

Facing a volley of accusations from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Vinai Kumar Saxena — from its education policy to its excise policy — the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has alleged that Saxena was involved in a “Rs 1,400-crore scam” in 2016 in the aftermath of demonetisation. The ruling party in Delhi alleged on Monday that after the Union government announced the demonetisation policy, Saxena “forced” the employees of Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to convert Rs 1,400 crore of “black money” into “white money”. The L-G headed KVIC at the time.

Saxena on Wednesday warned that he would take legal action against AAP leaders Saurabh Bhardwaj, Atishi, Durgesh Pathak, and Jasmine Shah, among others, for making “defamatory and false” allegations. This came a day after the CBI said that in its probe it did not come across the role of anyone apart from two cashiers at the Khadi Gram Udyog Bhavan who allegedly converted Rs 17 lakh of old currency to new notes after demonetisation. The two, the central agency said on Tuesday, had been chargesheeted and the trial was on.

Here is a look at some numbers related to demonetisation and other instances of the figure of Rs 1,400 crore linked to the Centre’s key policy move, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on November 8, 2016.

🔴 As of the fortnight ending October 8, 2021, cash in circulation stood at a record high of Rs 28.3 lakh crore, as per the RBI. This was 57 per cent higher than the level before demonetisation.

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🔴 As of the week ending October 27, 2017 — within a year of demonetisation — currency notes worth Rs 16.35 lakh crore were in circulation, or about 91 per cent of the Rs 17.97 lakh crore in circulation on November 4, 2016, days before the old currency notes were withdrawn. As a percentage of GDP, too, the cash in circulation jumped sharply from 8.7 per cent in FY17 to 14.7 per cent in FY21.

🔴 Nearly 60 per cent of all fake money seized in 2021 was of Rs 2,000 denomination, the latest NCRB report shows. The Rs 2,000 and the new Rs 500 currency notes were introduced in 2016 after the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were scrapped.

🔴 The digitisation of the economy is also catching on. The number of transactions done through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has seen an exponential rise from just 0.29 million in November 2016 to 4.2 billion in October 2021.

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Other Rs 1,400 crore during demonetisation

🔴 The money disbursed by Haryana in eight days of the announcement of demonetisation

🔴 The estimated average daily loss for truckers despite toll being suspended on highways to ease travel following the demonetisation

🔴 Deposits registered after demonetisation by Mumbai’s Shamrao Vithal Cooperative Bank, attracting ED scrutiny. Eventually, it was found it had received only Rs 900 crore in “deposits”. The rest was an “overstatement” by the bank in a report to the RBI.

First published on: 01-09-2022 at 11:42:57 am
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