- Calling the move 'bold', Bill Gates showed his support to PM Modi's demonetisation move.
- Gates took a u-turn the next day and stated, "I have no opinion about demonetisation.”
Recently, the founder of Microsoft and the current co-chair and trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, visited India in the midst of demonetisation chaos.
The business magnate showed his support to PM Modi's demonetisation initiative and called it a 'bold move' and also that banning of ₹500 and ₹1000 notes is an 'important step to move away from a shadow economy,' at a public lecture, hosted by NITI Aayog.
Emphasising on digital transactions, Gates said, "The bold move to demonetise high-value denominations and replace them with new notes with higher security features is an important step to move away from a shadow economy to an even more transparent economy. And digital transactions really, I think, will rise dramatically here.”
However, the very next day, while talking to a selected group of journalist, Gates took a u-turn and stated, "I have no opinion about demonetisation.” Despite repeated queries, he skillfully avoided commenting on demonetisation though he emphasised on growing digital economy.
As per a report in Business Standard, when a journalist asked given the fact that Gates' support to PM's currency ban move, does he think making people stand in queues to access their own money is good governance?
To which Gates replied, "I had nothing to do (with it), I had no advanced notice, no involvement. Nobody asked my opinion.”
When requested to clarify his earlier statement on demonetisation, he said that he saw a long queue at the airport and someone said it is demonetisation effect.
He stated, "I already answered that. Nobody consulted us before or after. All I knew is that a few days before, I read about demonetisation in newspapers. When I was at the airport, there was a long queue. Someone pointed to it and said that is demonetisation. I do know that independent of demonetisation, digitisation is a good thing.”
“We are certainly for digitisation. I do not have opinion about demonetisation. I still don’t...You know what it is, better than I do,” he further added.
Bill Gates statements on the demonetisation epitomise the feeling of every Indian at present; the move is legit, and we all support it unless we find ourselves in endless queues outside ATMs and banks.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:33 PM