In Gujarat, Manmohan Singh calls demonetisation a disaster

Angelica Greene
November 8, 2017

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".

He also alleged that the fact that nearly 99% of the demonetized currency came back into the banking systems has punctured the government's claims.

He said the natural outcome of excess cash in the system was tax evasion because of which a tax payer had not only to pay his own tax but also for the evader.

He said both demonetisation and GST have "sown a deep- rooted fear of tax terrorism" among the business community. It has broken the back of small and medium businesses in India, ' Dr Singh said. The former prime minister was addressing the media in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

These twin blows damaged India's medium and small manufacturing sectors and our businesses had to run to Chinese imports at the cost of Indian jobs, he added.

"Unprecedented growth of imports by over Rs.45,000 Crore, a 23 per cent increase in a year can be attributed largely to demonetisation, GST", he said.

He criticised the NDA government under Prime Minister Modi for amending the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, in the BJP ruled states, even as farmers continue to suffer from "extended agrarian distress".

The former prime minister wondered who advised PM Modi on note ban."I say it with huge pain and a sense of deep responsibility, that the 8th of November was a "Black Day" for our economy, and indeed our democracy". He said "they had big bags and garages full of notes which were banned due to the decision".

The statements by Singh in Gujarat come after his recent interview to Bloomberg, where he raised serious concerns over the aftermath of demonetisation.

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Jaitley said one of the important objectives of demonetisation was "to make India a less cash economy and thereby reduce the flow of black money in the system".

While Prime Minister Modi did not mention about the aim to reduce cash transactions in his November 8 speech a year ago, the government, however, later said the note ban was also aimed at to make India a less-cash economy.

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'.

"We at BJP believe that for the nation's economy and its future, it was necessary to change the status quo".

"To promote a less cash economy coercive steps like demonetisation are ineffective".

"Demonetisation is not a one-stop solution to end corruption". "Demonetisation is not a panacea for all, but it has changed the agenda", Jaitley said. We are moving towards a less-cash economy. "Terror funding was squeezed because of demonetisation, shell companies also being easily identified", Jaitley added.

Singh's visit comes a day before Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is likely to tour Surat on the anniversary of the governmen's announcement of the demonetisation exercise.

Maintaining that demonetisation also led to a big leap in digital payments, he said as many as 110 crore transactions, valued at around Rs 3.3 lakh crore, and another 240 crore transactions, valued at Rs 3.3 lakh crore, were carried out through credit cards and debit cards respectively.

Congress party along with a few other opposition parties have chose to observe 8 Nov as the black day in India.

Other reports by GizPress

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