Demonetisation was organised loot: Manmohan Singh

Allan Goodman
November 8, 2017

The ruling BJP will be hold "Anti-Black Money Day" celebrations across the country.

Attacking the Centre for the faulty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, Dr Singh said, 'When undertaking endeavour of one nation one tax, if the PM had taken inspiration from the resolve of great Sardar Patel, the outcome would've been different'.

Addressing traders and businessmen here, the former PM said: "With vast pain and a sense of deep responsibility [I say] that the eighth of November was a "Black Day" for our economy and indeed, our democracy. I wondered who advised him to inflict such a reckless step on our nation, and whether any considered thought went into it", he said.

The Congress had announced that it will observe November 8, the day demonetisation was announced past year as "black day". He also listed out measures taken by the government to curb black money and corruption and said Mr Modi had undertaken a transformation of economy with "structural reforms". "Individual tax payers' number has increased, digital transactions have gone up and terror funding has squeezed", Jaitley said on eve of note ban anniversary.

He said no world democracy had undertaken such a "coercive" move of withdrawing 86 per cent of legal tenders in one single swoop. "And today, there isn't an global agency which does not eulogise the kind and quality of the structural reforms Indian is making". "The fact that more than 99 percent of the demonetised currency came back into the banking system has punctured the government's claims", he further added. There are also widespread reports of the rich converting their black money into white while the poor suffered'.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. "I repeat as I stated in parliament, this was organised loot and legalised plunder", Singh said. "It has broken the back of our small businesses", he added.

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'We saw the impact of demonetisation on the economy when the GDP growth rate dropped to 5.7 per cent under the new calculations.

"What is even more tragic is that none of the lessons from this monumental blunder has been learnt by the government, which, instead of providing relief to the needy, chose to inflict on them a badly designed and hastily implemented GST". Industrial clusters have been affected and that has hampered production... "These twin blows damaged India's MSME sector and our businesses had to turn to Chinese imports at the cost of Indian jobs". Singh said the country's import in first half of 2016- 17 stood at Rs 1.96 lakh crore, whereas it increased to Rs 2.41lakh crore in 2017-18.

Dr. Singh criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project - the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train corridor, saying the project was "an exercise in vanity". Did the Prime Minister consider the alternative of introducing High Speed Rail across India, by upgrading the existing broad gauge infrastructure? "Our railways are languishing and are in dire need of investments".

With only a month left before Gujarat votes to elect its new government, Singh made a strong pitch for the Congress and claimed that the winds of change were blowing in Gujarat and asked the people of the state to yet again repose faith in Congress. Congress is using not ban and GST as its weapons to slash down the BJP. Singh said that Gujarat has given India two of her most eminent sons - Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhai Patel.

"By questioning bullet trains does one become anti-development?"

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