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Rs 1,000 notes may be back: Opposition slams junking of Rs 2,000 notes

Incidentally, the RBI's decision comes on the cusp of the Modi government marking its ninth anniversary, days after the BJP's Karnataka assembly polls loss

War on money laundering: Cash deals exceeding Rs 500,000 to come under PMLA

Archis Mohan New Delhi

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The opposition criticised the Narendra Modi government for the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) withdrawal of Rs 2,000 denomination currency notes on Friday evening, suggesting that the government might soon reintroduce Rs 1,000 notes as it did with the Rs 500 denomination notes in 2016.

Ruling party leaders, however, felt the step would check unaccounted money, which has grown over the last seven years, and help bring the focus back on the PM's efforts in his nine-year tenure at curbing corruption.
 
Incidentally, the RBI’s decision comes on the cusp of the Modi government marking its ninth anniversary, days after the BJP’s Karnataka assembly polls loss, where the central election plank of the Congress was the alleged corruption in the BJP-run government and the day the Supreme Court-appointed expert committee said it found no evidence of stock price manipulation in Adani Group companies.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation on November 8, 2016, with elections to five states, including UP, around the corner, he put corruption at the centre of India’s political discourse. After winning UP, the BJP said it was a referendum on demonetisation. If elections to five states were three months away seven years back, the polls to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Mizoram are six months away now.

BJP’s national spokesperson on economic issues, Gopal Agarwal, said a need was being felt to curb the cash flow of high denomination notes. He said the Friday evening move is further evidence of the PM’s commitment to weed out corruption, which vitiates a level-playing field. “Curbing corruption cannot be seen in isolation, but needs a 360 degrees approach which our government has taken with GST, virtual assessment, and now the systems to audit trails are much more rigorous,” Agarwal said.

Congress leader P Chidambaram said it was expected that the government would withdraw the Rs 2,000 note. “We said this in November 2016, and we have been proved correct. The Rs 2,000 note was a band-aid to cover up the foolish decision of demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, which were popular and widely exchanged currencies,” he said. “A few weeks after demonetisation, the government/RBI were forced to reintroduce the Rs 500 note. I shall not be surprised if the government/RBI reintroduce the Rs 1,000 note as well. Demonetisation has come full circle,” Chidambaram tweeted.

“They claimed that introducing the Rs 2,000 note would curb the flow of black money. Seven years later, they are withdrawing it from circulation. Yet another Modinomic masterstroke,” the Trinamool Congress tweeted.

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First Published: May 19 2023 | 9:53 PM IST

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