Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday in an interview with the press over demonetization and GST said that "the impact of demonetization on the weaker sections of our society and business is far more damaging than any economic indicator can reveal".
Congress party along with a few other opposition parties have chose to observe 8 Nov as the black day in India.
Also, SEBI had introduced a Graded Surveillance Measure at stock exchanges.The Finance Minister said demonetisation appeared to have led to acceleration in financialization of savings. He said, "To promote a less cash economy, coercive steps like demonetisation are ineffective". Making a powerful defence of the exercise on the eve of one year of demonetisation, Jaitley said reform initiatives taken by the BJP-led government had lifted India's stature in the global economy, the measures preventing it from being knocked off the global radar and raising it to a position where all worldwide agencies have been eulogising the structural reforms. I remember feeling shocked when I heard the Prime Minister's announcement, and I wondered who advised him to inflict such a reckless step on our nation, and whether any considered thought went into it'. Economics should take precedence over politics.
Dr Singh said that "demonetisation was clearly not the way to end the menace of tax evasion and black money". "I repeat what I said in the parliament, this was organised loot and legalised plunder". The BJP, on the other hand, will counter the move by celebrating the first anniversary of the financial decision as "anti-black money". Singh labelled the current GST as a "complicated mess" and a "nightmare" for small and medium businesses.
"The fact that more than 99 percent of demonetised currency came back into the banking system, has punctured the government's claims".
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Hours after the former Prime Minister's speech, Finance Minister Jaitley strongly defended the economic reforms calling note ban a "watershed moment in the history of the Indian economy". Slamming the previous Congress-led UPA government for its "policy paralysis" and the poor state of economy with excess dependence on cash, Jaitley said the "status quo needed to be shaken up". Even this is bound to be a gross underestimate as the pain of the informal sector is not adequately captured in the GDP calculation.
Singh said India's imports from China in the first half of the fiscal rose 23 per cent to ₹2.41 lakh crore, largely due to demonetisation and GST.
Singh said, "Demonetisation was an attack on the independence and credibility of the RBI as an institution". He also informed that a drop of 1% in the GDP annually cost the nation around 1.5 lakh crore rupees.
Countering this, Singh said, "The government says that they will pursue all those who made large deposits in banks after demonetisation".
On the Government's contention that those opposing Demonetisation and GSt were tax evaders, Dr Singh said, 'Does questioning GST and Demonetisation make one a tax evader?
Trinamul Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also hit out at the government, saying demonetisation was a big scam.
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