Congress seeks Modi's apology over demonetisation 'disaster'

The Congress on Wednesday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's apology over demonetisation, saying it had dented India's credibility and the corrupt had made windfall gains while 104 innocent people had lost their lives in the "disaster."

In a series of tweets, Congress communications department incharge Randeep Singh Surjewala took jibes at the Prime Minister while referring to his Independence Day speech in which he had said that black money of Rs 3 lakh crore had been unearthed after demonetisation.

Surjewala cited the Reserve Bank of India's annual report figures, which said that of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore of notes taken out of circulation, Rs 15.28 lakh crore had returned to the system by way of deposits by the public, meant that the cost of printing new currency was more than the money gained by the central bank.

"Reality-RBI data released today proves only Rs 16000Cr out of the 15.44 Lakh Cr money in circulation came back. Of this,9000 Cr still stuck. Perspective: This Rs 16000Cr is just 1% of the total notes demonetised. Rs 21000 Cr spent to recover Rs 16000 Cr!" Surjewala tweeted.

"Utterly failed #Demonetisation is nothing but a disaster in which 104 innocent people were killed while 'Corrupt' made 'Windfall Gains'," he said in another post.

Accusing Modi of obfuscation, he said figures given by RBI had "again exposed" the government, and the "demonetisation scam" had "not only dented institutional sanctity of RBI, but also credibility of India abroad".

Demanding that Modi should apologise to the nation, Surjewala said former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's prediction that demonetisation will reduce GDP by two percent had proved true and the economy "suffered due to this massive folly!"

According to the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) annual report for the last fiscal, 89 million pieces of the banned Rs 1,000 totalling Rs 8,900 crore had not been returned, out of 6,700 million such notes. This amounts to 1.3 per cent of the Rs 1,000 notes in circulation before the demonetisation announcement on November 8, 2016.