Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Demonetisation mastermind says this is not what they had in mind

Narada Desk | November 22, 2016 4:17 pm Print
The government had gone in for surgery without anaesthesia, that's why people are dying, says Anil Bokil.

As the widespread chaos continues for the 14th day since demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “surgical strike” on black money hoarders has now irked mastermind Anil Bokil-led Arthakranti, which believes the proposals haven’t been implemented as they had explained.

Bokil is reportedly not satisfied with the way the demonetisation has taken off, a report in the Economic Times said. He said the government had taken only one part of the organisation’s five-point plan. “We had a proper transition plan from large currency denominations to smaller ones.”

Adding to the claims of several economists, Bokil said that this was not demonetisation. “The government has only replaced large denomination currencies with even more larger notes,” he said.

According to the proposition of Arthakranti Pratishthan, the plan was  to “positively change” India’s socio-economic scenario by restructuring tax policies, limiting the use of hard cash, making capital and credit cheaper and reducing the flow of black money in the system. According to the reports, he had suggested,

1: Complete abolition of taxes, direct and indirect by the Central or State governments, and also the local bodies.
2: The taxes were to be replaced with Bank Transaction Tax (BTT)
3: Cash transactions (withdrawals) would not attract tax.
4: All high denomination currency (anything above Rs 50) should be withdrawn.

However, Bokil believes that the withdrawal of high-value currencies is only the third step in the Arthakranti plan. ‘Compression of currencies’ (denomination withdrawal) should have followed the withdrawal of all central government taxes like personal income tax, central excise and service tax and circulation of additional Rs 500 notes in the system (to temporarily replace the withdrawn Rs 1000 notes) so that people did not face an acute shortage of money.

It is to be noted that since the banks opened after demonetisation on November 10, millions of people have scrambled to banks for Rs 100 notes or new denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 after the sudden ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The unending and ever-increasing queues infront of banks and ATMs across the country had reportedly been cause of more than 40 deaths.

Bokil said, “We did not expect the deaths we are witnessing. But the government announced the operation without using anaesthesia, so patients are bound to lose their lives.”

“The Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currencies account for close to 85 per cent of notes in circulation. If you ban the entire lot in one go, how you will manage the flow of currencies?” quips Bokil. He says that the government is now driving on a GPRS system. “They’ve lost the transition plot completely. They should’ve stuck to our transition plan at least,” he added, saying it will take time to return to normalcy.

He added that a 16-member technical team has been working on this proposal for 16 years and had  guaranteed that not a single person would be affected. He also said that the move would have targeted only on eradicating black money and terrorism and also end ransom-linked crimes. It would have affected property prices and also impacted the GDP.

Now, Bokil said, “We are also proposing to withdraw the Rs 2000 notes the government has brought in. This was just a diversion. The main operation is yet to happen.”

 

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