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Modi used demonetisation to hide his govt's failures: Jha

Press Trust of India  |  Vadodara 

Terming demonetisation a "colossal disaster", Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha today alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the exercise as a "publicity stunt" to divert people's attention from his government's "mounting failures".

"Demonetisation is a colossal disaster ... What did Modi do in the last two-and-a-half years? Practically nothing. The economy is not just flat, but is slowing down; joblessness has peaked; foreign policy is in shambles, over 100 cross-border violations have happened following the surgical strikes; farmers' woes have remained unresolved and private investment stagnates despite lower interest rates. We are in a state of luminous paralysis," Jha told reporters here.

"Modi has used demonetisation more as a publicity stunt to divert the debate from mounting failures and to use the black money issue for enhancing his image. The operational failure of demonetisation is deplorable, but the disingenuous intent behind it is worse," he alleged.

Claiming that 90 persons died while standing in bank queues to withdraw their own money, he said, "But Modi is silent. He could have at least condoled their deaths."

Demonetisation has started affecting the unorganised sector and rendered thousands of workers unemployed, Jha said adding, "The real big sharks have kept their stolen treasures abroad."

"The spectacular surge in PSU bank deposits of Rs 4 lakh crore during July-September 2016 smacks of a heads-up given to dubious operators of black money. It could be the biggest scam post-1947 and needs judicial intervention and forensic investigation," he demanded.

The common man, who wants his own hard-earned money back, is being humiliated and labelled a black money hoarder. For Modi, the chickens are coming home to roost, he said.

On the cost of the demonetisation drive on the economy, Jha said, it will shave off Rs 3 trillion from the GDP, which is likely to decline by 2 percentage points. He said this is based on the 2017 budget, which has pegged the GDP at Rs 150 trillion.

"So if the GDP falls by 200 bps, then the cost of demonetisation on the economy will be Rs 3 trillion," he said, adding with almost Rs 11 trillion out of the 14.17 trillion of invalidated money returning to the system within a month, we need to see how the government reaches its maths.

He also questioned Modi government as to why it was not striking at the root cause of money parked in non-productive assets like diamonds, jewellery, land, etc invested in stock markets through fictitious accounts.

He also alleged most of the FDI flowing into the country was black money returning through.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, December 06 2016. 20:07 IST