- RBI had replied to an RTI query by Bloomberg had filed an RTI on demonetisation
- The reply stated that decision was taken just 3 hours before the demonetisation was announced
- With vast difference between the government and RBI’s statements, it is clear that the process was not planned
This fact was revealed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in reply to RTI query on demonetisation by the Bloomberg News. Doesn’t this contradict RBI Governor Urjit Patel’s statement that "The decision was not and has not been taken in haste but after detailed deliberations," on December 7?
To add to the uncertainty of the authorities over the decision on demonetisation, Power Minister Piyush Goyel on November 16 had said that the RBI’s 10-member board came up with the idea of demonetisation.
If we have to go by the RBI’s recent reply, how can such an important decision, which literally changed the finance situation in India and most of the people are still struggling to manage the daily affairs, be taken just three hours prior to the announcement?
The decision to make the use of ₹500 and ₹1000 notes null and void was taken at 5.30 pm on November 8 in a board meeting, said the RBI in its response to the RTI plea.
However, the apex finance body did not give any reply to the query on how many notes of ₹2000 and ₹500 are being printed every day.
One Anil Galgali had appealed through RTI that information on the stock of ₹2000 and ₹500 new currency notes on the day demonetisation was announced on November 8.
The RBI had replied that it had ₹2000 notes worth ₹4.94 lakh crore but did not print any note of ₹500 then.
Making the issue more confusing, the RBI had on December 13 said that new currency notes worth ₹4.94 lakh crore were printed but suprisinlgly till December 10 only ₹4.61 lakh crore have been issued for public use.Especially when there is a severe cash crunch and people are struggling to even withdraw ₹2000 per day from ATMs, even the currency notes which were printed by November 8 are not being sent to the banks and ATMs.
What is the logic behind the leaders including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying there is sufficient cash in the banks and ATMs? Well, if ₹4.94 lakh crore was already printed and ready (by November 8), either the RBI has stopped printing new notes now, or it is not circulating it, despite the cash crunch. As the authorities do not have an answer to how many notes are being printed every day, this question will linger in the people's mind for some more time.
Also, there is a vast difference in the statistics put out by the government and the RBI. Queries on this have gone unanswered and instead of the correct figure all we have got is an emotional appeal of the Prime Minister and his elaborate quotes.
As on November 8, the RBI had stated that the total value of demonetised ₹500 notes was ₹11.38 lakh crore and the value of ₹1000 notes was ₹9.13 lakh crore. This combined, the total value of the demonetised notes comes up to ₹20.5 lakh.
But surprisingly, the government in its affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court states that total value of ₹15 lakh crore notes of 500 and ₹1000 have been demonetised. So, where did the ₹5.25 lakh crore go?
With many such questions unanswered and cash crunch still bothering the common people, it looks like the step taken to bring transparency into the financial transactions itself lack transparency.
More people are being caught with new notes, is a clear indication that those who hold black money have already converted their money into white.
The common people are left wondering and standing in the long queues may continue in the next year too. The deadline Modi had given for himself is coming to an end. One can clearly say now that there will be another emotional appeal by Modi and there are fewer chances that there will be any respite from the cash crunch.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:39 PM IST