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Demonetisation was an idiotic jolt: 8 things Arun Shourie spoke about

Note ban was the largest money-laundering scheme ever, conceived and implemented entirely by the government, he said.

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Arun Shourie
Veteran journalist and former union minister Arun Shourie addresses a protest meeting at Press Club of India in New Delhi against the CBI raids on news channel NDTV in an alleged financial fraud case.

Slamming the government over sliding economic growth and increasing job losses, Arun Shourie, who was a union minister in the BJP-led government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has likened with suicide, saying the latter is too “a bold step”.
Former Disinvestment Minister told NDTV that note ban was the largest money-laundering scheme ever, conceived and implemented entirely by the government.
It was an idiotic jolt, he said.
Here are the highlights:
1. "Everyone who had black converted it into white. was an idiotic jolt." Arun Shourie
According to the RBI, almost 9 per cent of the banned currency has been returned to banks, which suggests that black or untaxed money was not destroyed by the giant move.
In November 2016, Shourie said, "I wonder how the move would help check black money which is lying in foreign shores. "The one who actually has black money, is he keeping it in India in rupees?...Those who have black money, they keep it outside. They buy companies, they buy estates. This dengue mosquito is flying in Switzerland and you are wielding the stick here?"
2. Event management

"Event management of the GST -- imagine! A tax reform is being compared to the independence of India" - Arun Shourie
Shourie was referring to the glittering special midnight session of the Parliament that prime minister led on the eve of GST launch day.
At a glittering special midnight session of the Parliament, Prime Minister today led India to its biggest indirect tax reform - Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The midnight session of Parliament was reminiscent of India's independence on the midnight of August 14 and 15 in 1947 when first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru gave the historic speech on India's 'Tryst with Destiny'.
3. was as bold as suicide it - Arun Shourie
In November, when Shourie was asked to comment on Modi's bold move of banning currency notes, he said, "jumping in the well is also very radical, committing suicide is also radical".
4. Which argument (offered by the government in defence of demonetisation) today survives? Black money? All of it turned white. Terrorism? Terrorists are still coming into India. At the end they have nothing to say - Arun Shourie
Earlier, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury had also attacked Modi government over saying corruption, black money and terrorism which he sought to end with the note ban, were flourishing post the economic move.
"Months after demonetisation, corruption, black money and terrorism - three claims Modi made of having ended - flourish at an even stronger pace," the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader said on social networks.
5. This is a government of two-and-a-half persons, that is, Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and one in-house lawyer - Arun Shourie
In May, Shourie said that India's government consists of only three people — Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and party chief Amit Shah, who have “frightened not just the allies but their own group”.
Shourie further said that “no corrective action” is taking place because even if these three take a wrong decision, they are also the “supreme court” who deliver the judgment on it.
6. Yashwant Sinha, P. Chidambaram and several other economists have been "talking about facts" - Arun Shourie
Other economists like Nobel laureate Amartya Sen have slammed the government's note ban move.
Amartya Sen described as a "despotic action" which was taken in a hurry. He said it was an unguided "missile" fired "unilaterally" without adhering to democratic norms.
7. Their core competence is event management. They are so self-satisfied with it. - Arun Shourie
8. They should publish a list of persons in advance who they think are frustrated - Arun Shourie

First Published: Wed, October 04 2017. 12:24 IST