New Delhi: Insisting that the Opposition’s concerns on demonetisation have been found correct, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should now make a categorical announcement of an end to all restrictions on cash withdrawals.
“When the prime minister addresses the nation, the people expect that he will make a categorical announcement that all restrictions on money have been ended,” Chidambaram told reporters at AICC headquarters on Friday.
The senior Congress leader said that the woes of demonetisation should come to an end by Friday evening as the prime minister had asked for time till 30 December. Noting that Modi had recently said at a rally that “through the note ban, in one stroke, we destroyed the world of terrorism, drug mafia, human trafficking and underworld”, he said that it was therefore, fair to expect that these objectives would be achieved by the end of today.
“It is fair to expect that beginning Monday, 2 January, 2017, all restrictions on money imposed on 8 November, 2016 will be removed and the people will be able to withdraw the money in their bank accounts. It is fair to expect that there will be no queues outside bank branches and ATMs. It is fair to expect that all ATMs will be open round the clock and fully stocked with
currency notes,” he said.
Chidambaram said that the only person who can assure the people on these matters is Modi himself, because the government has “dubbed all of us in the Opposition as supporters of black money hoarders and tax evaders”.
On the government’s claim that people are happy and there have been no incidents of rioting, he said people are patient. “But please don’t mistake patient people for happy people,” he had said.
Seeking to debunk government’s claims on the benefits of demonetisation, he said, “Events of the last 50 days have proved us correct. Hoards of black money in new Rs 2,000 notes have been found.”
He further said that bribes have been given and taken in new Rs 2,000 notes and there is “no guarantee” that black money will not be demanded or generated in future or that bribes will not be given or taken in future in the new currency.
Dubbing the way the demonetisation was announced and implemented as a “single biggest case of total mismanagement”, he regretted the most momentous decision has been taken “without consulting key officials”.
Making a strong pitch for compensating people for the hardships they faced, he lamented that the government has “not uttered a word” about compensating the people for the economic losses heaped upon them by demonetisation.
He also demanded that the agenda note and the minutes of the meeting of the RBI board of directors held on 8 November, 2016, along with the Note for Cabinet on demonetisation placed before the Cabinet on 8 November, 2016, should be made
First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 20:03 IST