PM Modi’s currency crackdown
Demonetisation is the most prominent event of the year 2016 for Indians. In bank queues, in shops and at ATMs, old and new ones, the banned currency is the topic on every mind at the fag end of the year. Fresh from festivities with no time to be sluggish, everyone from the rich to the poor sections of society has been toiling for days to legitimize his/her money irrespective of its origin. Everyone has the same feeling in front of a bank. India is famous for its class disparities but with a just soaring jargon of “demonetisation”, we are left with “no business and only economy”, at least for a few days.
This is the third instance of the demonetisation decision in Independent India but the most difficult one to implement due to the size of its economy. This decision was officially taken to eliminate counterfeit Indian currency pumped from across the border for terrorist funding and expose the infamous hidden black money in the country. But the question arises why this method was not considered by any previous Government and what about the hardships of common folks.
Indians are expected to survive their short-term troubles for better future prospects. Everyone has been caught unguarded, especially daily-wage workers who were unprepared for this ordeal. There are unending lines in front of every bank where people are painstakingly waiting for hours to get their banned notes exchanged or withdraw money in order to sustain their already difficult life.
Black money hoarders and other persons of this community are shying away from banking business but are having sleepless nights. It is doubtful whether issuing higher denomination notes (of Rs 2,000 ) in place of lower ones will necessarily discourage them from stashing their black money.
Experts say that demonetisation will have its economic benefits for India such as controlled inflation and a higher revenue for Government schemes. It will help strengthen the defence and industrial infrastructure. It will bring serial tax evaders under the tax net and broaden the tax base. Earlier the deprived sections of Indian society were systematically brought under the Aadhaar card system and the Jan Dhan Yojana. The September 30 deadline to declare undisclosed income had an encouraging response.
Internationally and domestically the November 8 bold step of the Modi Government has been acclaimed, though with quintessential criticism. The IMF has urged New Delhi to execute this economic transformation plan prudently as its outcome will evidently affect not only India internally but also its credibility worldwide.
Black money is synonym to corruption. The latest Government step could do away with the accumulated illegitimate cash in the Indian system but how it is going to eliminate the nuisance of corruption is to be seen. The malefactors may once again begin to operate after the brief hiatus and the wheels of exploitation will keep spinning as the Chinese media pointed out that the demonetisation move is bold but far from enough.
In this situation, a pragmatic Government approach is needed. There should be transparency in government services and some kind of Lokpal is also required. According to experts, the most crucial factor will be the moral responsibility of the Indian masses to voice against every kind of malfeasance.