On Thursday, West Bengal's Finance, Commerce and Industries Minister, Amit Mitra, said that after demonetisation, the government was now arm-twisting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to hand over Rs 3.6 trillion. Mitra made the statements in the wake of two years of demonetisation.
"If the RBI is forced to comply by invoking Section 7, will this massive sum of money be also destined to creating another scam, enriching a few crony capitalists," Mitra questioned.
The current stand-off between the central bank and the government stemmed from a series of suggestions proposed by the former that were overlooked. The suggestions included, among others, transfer of more reserves from the RBI to the central exchequer.
The Minister further said the RBI data suggests that a large number of bank frauds had taken place under the NDA government in which Nirav Modi and company were only the tip of the iceberg.
"We have heard big-talk on the floor of the Parliament in February 2017 that “data analytics” will be used to track down those who have converted black-money into white through demonetisation. Yet, since then not a single case has been concluded in hunting down the offenders. Why is this so? Is it incompetence or intentional negligence to enrich and legitimise the ill-gotten wealth of black money holders? Is this not a massive scam as well?" he asked.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had led a national movement against demonetisation in 2016, said, "Demonetisation was a disaster. November 8th is the darkest day for India. There was an agenda behind the decision of demonetisation."
"Who benefited from this decision? Why was this decision taken? To satisfy whom? I have a suspicion that this decision was taken to satisfy the agenda of a few people," she added.
Banerjee had become the face of the anti-demonetisation drive. She led a national campaign, from leading a protest march in Delhi to leading a rally in Lucknow.
I know the pulse of the grassroots, she said. "They were crying. It was then that I realised it was a big disaster and decided to call it out," the Chief Minister said on Thursday.