RBI should tell people about benefits of note ban: VP

RSTV Bureau
M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India.

M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should soon tell people about the benefits derived from demonetisation and the amount of black money deposited in the banks after the announcement was made to scrap high-value currency notes, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said Wednesday.

He said the aim of demonetisation was to check corruption and get the entire money in circulation into the banking system, including the money kept in “bedrooms, bathrooms or under the pillows”.

“Some people are asking, what was the benefit if all the money had reached the banks…The aim of demonetisation was to get the entire money into the banks…How much of that money was black and how much white, that is the job of the RBI (to ascertain).

“The RBI should complete the work as soon as possible and tell the people (about it). They (people) went through a lot of pain for 50 days to withdraw money (from ATMs). They have to be explained as regards — these were the advantages, this much money was official, this much money was not official, these many people came under the tax system,” Naidu said.

He added that if the people were informed about these aspects, their confidence in the system would grow.

The vice president was addressing the 12th annual convention of the Central Information Commission (CIC) here.

Naidu also pitched for holding Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections in the country simultaneously, and said the political parties should “seriously” think about it.

“In India, it is always an election festival. Every six months there is an election,” he said, adding that simultaneous polls would help the people focus on their responsibilities.

The vice president said the information commissioners should make “sincere efforts” for speedy disposal of cases registered with them, and added that information provided to people should be prompt and true.

He also said the order should be in the mother tongue of the applicants as 95 per cent of people in the country did not know English.

“I have given the suggestion to the minister concerned that the order on the application should gradually be moved towards the mother tongue of the petitioner. Ordinary people should have the benefit of getting the reply in their mother tongue,” Naidu said, adding that the arguments in courts should also be in a language known to the litigants.

The vice president said some people were “misusing” the Right to Information Act, saying, “Right to information is a mission and it should not be used for a commission.”

Information was empowering if it was authentic, Naidu said, adding that a lack of information could lead to “rumour mongering, disinformation campaigns, exploitation and corruption”.