Questioning Demonitisation, Cong says common man should not suffer

SansadTV Bureau

chidambaram_congress

Congress party picked holes in the Modi government demonetizing Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, saying if the idea was to address the issue of black money why has it decided to introduce Rs 2000 denomination notes, terming the action as a “puzzle”.

“Introduction of Rs 2000 note is a puzzle. How will this help in preventing generation of black money?,” former Union Finance minister P Chidambaram asked.

“If new income or wealth is unaccounted, will it not be hidden in Rs 2000 notes. How the purpose of demonestization of high denomination notes is served if a new and higher denomination note is
introduced? Government must explain this apparent puzzle,” he added.

Questioning the rationale behind government move, the principal opposition party attempted to dub the move as “pure and simple harassment” if the common man faced problems in exchanging the demonetized notes.

“The move may cause initial contraction and some disruption of economic activity. The test will be how quickly the old notes are replaced,” Chidambaram said.

The former Finance Minister P chidambaram also told reporters that a similar move was also contemplated by the previous Congress-led UPA government but the idea was dropped as “the economic gains were not too great”.

Though he said Congress party supports the government’s action taken to stamp out black money, but claimed that the “method adopted raises many questions”.

“We support the objective of government to stamp out black money. But the method they have adopted raises questions…The move has come as a bolt from the blue for the common man,’ he said.

Earlier in the day, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the move, wondering as to how bringing in the new Rs 2000 note is going to make black money hoarding a lot harder.

“Real culprits” who have stashed black money are “sitting tight” while lives of farmers, small shopkeepers and housewives “have been thrown in utter chaos,” Gandhi said in a series of tweets.

(With inputs from the PTI)