Demonetisation is not a bad decision: Jagdish Bhagwati

I think the notion that we are doing something undemocratic doesn't seem to me to matter, says Jagdish Bahgwati.

Demonetisation is not a bad decision: Jagdish Bhagwati

Amid the ongoing lockjam in Parliament and chaotic public response on demonetisation, Eminent economist Jagdish Bhagwati has given  a thumbs up to the move, saying the criticism of it is "cockeyed."

Professor Bhagwati was speaking to NDTV, when he said that he doesn't see demonetisation as a bad decision.

Elaborating on his thoughts, he said that "We have to distinguish between avoidable losses and unavoidable losses, which may result from this. "


He explained further saying that when you have to print large number of notes, which will be replacing Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, and you actually order huge number of notes to be printed, it cannot be left quiet. People are bound to know, he said. Especially in a country like India, nothing can be kept secret.

He terms this inconvenience as unavoidable loss, and said after government has ordered large number of printing of notes, these were just transitional hardships.

He reiterated his thoughts on criticism saying, "People have come out to say it is bad on the basis of "I promise to pay" written on the notes, economists says it is abrogation of promise to pay. It is cockeyed to say it is abrogation of promise to pay."

He also explained the criticism of violation of right to property. He said, "It is wrong. In constitution of India, Ammendment one was passed actually to allow us to impound property in a social cause."

"I think the notion that we are doing something undemocratic doesn't seem to me to matter. These kinds of criticism are not well taken in my view, people just shoot from the hip," Bhagwati concluded.

Jagdish Natwarlal Bhagwati is an Indian economist. He is a professor of economics and law at Columbia University. Bhagwati is notable for his research in international trade and for his advocacy of free trade.