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RBI’s report, has exposed the falsehood  of Prime Minister: Congress

1 Sep.  2017

Anand Sharma, MP Vice Chairman Foreign Affairs Department of congress  said, RBI’s report, has exposed the falsehood  of Prime Minister's  four reasons of demonetisation, in his press briefing on Thursday in New Delhi.   Shri Anand Sharma said, that on the 8th of November 2016 around 8 pm, the Prime Minister of India had made a sensational announcement through an Address to the Nation, scrapping 86.4% of India’s currency that was almost 15.5 lakh crore of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes in circulation and with this decision, he unleashed a financial anarchy and economic chaos in the country. This decision created an unprecedented upheaval, not only in Indian economy but also in peoples’ lives. Prime Minister had given four reasons – most of you have understood and you remember that.  First was to fight corruption, secondly to fight black-money / to eliminate black-money, thirdly to stop terror funding and fourth to eliminate or flush-out the fake Indian currency notes in circulation.
 RBI’s report yesterday, has exposed the falsehood that was sold to the country. We had told the Prime Minister and the Government, this money belongs to the people of India, to the farmers, to the workers, to the housewives, to Government employees, to small entrepreneurs, to small industries, because like any other economy, India being a developing country with very few or very little presence of Banks, Bank Branches in rural India except the Gramin Banks and the Cooperative Banks, the economy is primarily based on cash transactions. When it comes to payment to industrial labour, to farm labour, small retail, it all works on cash. In case of India it was 96% and it would remain even today 95%. It is not that it happens only in India, the Prime Minister should have been educated more about it, it is in every economy including rich and developed countries. But now, almost 99% of the money is back. 
 He further said that the people who were keeping cash in hand have re-deposited. May be there is some money which has come back otherwise because Prime Minister and his Government have facilitated the return of that money. We are not going to accept PM’s statement now since corruption has not been removed. We saw that overnight a National Money Laundering Project was created by the BJP led Government. Of the total currency returned, which was demonetized, RBI says only 41 crores of 15.82 lakh crore was fake currency. The Government had also informed the Hon’ble Supreme Court, which I just said in Hindi, through the Attorney General, that 4-5 lakh crore of the money which is scrapped of the currency of the money which is demonetized, is with the terrorists’ groups, insurgent groups in North East and other places, so that money will not be available. 
 Now what answers does the Government have? All the four reasons which the Prime Minister had given have proved to be false. That he inflicted misery upon the people of India, wrecked the country’s economy, shaved off 1.5% of India’s GDP which was equivalent to 2Lakh 25 thousand crores. Tens of millions of jobs were lost in the unorganized sector. Crores and crores of Indian citizens had to stand in front of the Bank Branches and ATMs. More than 100 died. Dozens committed suicide. Who is responsible for it? Also, the poor people, the village people, the farmers save their money with Co-operative Banks, the Gramin Banks, that Money was not accepted back. If you take the cash in pipeline which is with the Co-operative Banks, the Rural Banks, Gramin Banks, also under treaty with Nepal and Bhutan, then you will see that almost all of the money is back. Surely this was not the money which was with the smugglers or with the terrorists or proceeds of crime. Prime Minister owes an explanation. He has to accept moral responsibility. He must apologize to the country and we will continue to force accountability on this issue. 
 The Prime Minister also made a false statement from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 15th of August, that the money which has come back - 3 lakh crore - is the black money. What is this Government doing? Whereas the Economic Survey says, that even if the number of tax payers has increased, which would have automatically and I will explain why, but the average increase or jump of income declared for tax purposes is from 2.4 lakh crore which is out of the income tax limit because it is 2.5 lakh to 2.70. Only Rs. 20,000, that is the average, declarations above the income tax limit. So, what has been achieved? This exactly has to be told to the country. The Prime Minister changed the narrative repeatedly. Midway he said that, No, so much of cash in circulation leads to inflation. It has been reported today also. It also leads to black marketing. So, he kept on changing his narrative and kept pace with the species called chameleon which keeps on changing colour as per the situation.           
 And the PM also gave his word as India’s Prime Minister, it is not individual. He did this as India’s Prime Minister, that up to31st of March, the money cash will be accepted back in all Bank Branches and after that up to 31st of March, all the RBI Branches will accept the money. But what happened in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and elsewhere - people with small amounts of cash Rs. 5,000, Rs. 4,000 or Rs. 8,000 – money was not taken back. Even the Hon’ble Supreme Court, few weeks ago, gave the directive to the Government that please take poor peoples’ money back which includes the money with the Co-operative Banks and Gramin Banks and the Government said ‘NO’. This Government is insensitive. It has brought misery in poor people’s homes. It has destroyed jobs and it has delivered a body blow to the Indian economy. It will take a long time for the unorganized sector to recover, for the industries to re-start, for production to begin again and for the jobs to come back. 
 Shri Sharma further said, we are asking the Prime Minster that instead of inventing new misleading excuses and also what his spin Doctors are doing - his Ministers - Finance Minister has a direct responsibility, Reserve Bank has an accountability. This is showed the world first that our country, our economy is based on black-money, which Prime Minister would defame his own country-men in this manner? But this Prime Minister defamed and insulted India before the world – a growing economy, a big economy and India’s PM told the world that all the 77% cash in circulation is black-money. We have not made this statement. In any other country, the PM will not have remained in office after this if a Prime Minister had done this, but here, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi thinks that he is not accountable to anyone, he will do what he wants. We are only advising him to reflect. We are advising his Finance Minister and the other Ministers who are acting as apologists and the others who are spinning new excuses to stop doing that, the truth is out and more truth will be out. That other truth which will be out is that who are the people who were involved outside the Government in this entire thing. That will also come. So, Prime Minister, we expect, he always claims high moral ground, he won’t resign, he won’t sack RBI Governor, he would not take any action because he has already taken action against the people of India. He should at least apologize today to the country. That is what we demand. 
 Shri Sharma said I have one thing more to inform you that, today a delegation of the DMK, the Indian National Congress, the CPM and the CPI (I) had met with the President of India and we have given him a Memorandum, drawing the President’s attention to the political uncertainty and instability in the State of Tamil Nadu. The Government in office and the Chief Minister have lost the majority as 21 Legislators have given individual letters to the Governor. The Leader of the Opposition and the Opposition Parties have collectively demanded the convening of an emergent session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly and the CM must be asked to prove his majority. We have also pointed this out that this is the settled Law after the Hon’ble Supreme Court judgment in Bommai case, that the only place to prove the majority is the Floor Test in the Assembly and that representation makes it very clear the urgency of this matter because the Government which does not have majority cannot continue to take important policy decisions which affect the lives of all the citizens who are in State of Tamil Nadu. That is what I wanted to share with you.   
 On the question of independent probe, Shri Sharma said, of course, investigation should be there. That we have demanded in the past too. There has to be and the Hon’ble Supreme Court must take note of what has happened in the country because this Government has defied the Hon’ble Supreme Court, it has misled the Hon’ble Supreme Court, it misinformed the Hon’ble Supreme Court, at the level of Attorney General. The Government has to come clean before the Judiciary also, on what basis they made these statements. It is not making a statement in a Coffee shop or in a Restaurant; it is the Attorney General of India communicating on behalf of the Government to the Highest Court of the Land. So, these questions must be answered now. But the Hon’ble Supreme Court should take cognizance, I expect the Hon’ble Supreme Court to take cognizance because the Attorney General made these statements before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. So, Hon’ble Supreme Court should take notice of that, that what was conveyed to the Hon’ble Supreme Court was wrong. The all should be hauled up for the contempt of the Court. Where is the 5 Lakh Crore of terror funding, answer has to be given, an answer has also to be given when the Attorney General and the Government and the Prime Minister had said that up to 31st of March, the money with the people will be accepted by the RBI Branches, why that was not honoured, that is why I have said that it is a breach of trust and it is a breach of a promise, a word of the Prime Minister. If people lose faith in the word of the Prime Minister of the country, then that can only lead to misery and chaos. 
 On the statement of the Finance Minister yesterday that tax payers’ base has expanded after demonetization, Shri Sharma said, well if the Prime Minister thinks that he is the greatest Economists, it is the biggest tragedy for India. He does not understand ‘E’ of Economics. If he did, he would not have done what he did? I have given you the details; please pick up the Economic Survey. There is an increase in the number of tax-payers, but there has already been an increase, please take out the data of the last 5-10 years, every year there is an increase, and there is no uniform increase every year depending on peoples’ income. This year the average increase is only from Rs. 2,40,000 annual income to Rs. 2, 70,000.  So, your threshold, the cut-off is Rs. 2.5 lakhs. So, it is only average jump of Rs. 20,000 annually which is less than Rs. 2,000 per month. Don’t forget that last year, the recommendations of the Pay Commission were accepted and implemented. So, a lot of money came in after the Pay Commission recommendations which led to hefty increase in salaries and allowances and that is why the consumption during that period after Pay Commission had increased in the country. There was a spurt in consumption, because people had extra cash to spend. So, this is perhaps one of the major factors, not demonetization. Even the Economic Survey does not say it is because of demonetization. 
 On the question of transparency in electoral funding, Shri Sharma said the Finance Minister has said this, I ask the Finance Minister who is taking responsibility for 1.5% loss of India’s GDP which is 2.25 lakh thousand crore. Let him stand up and answer that. 
On the question of what the President of India said after the meeting, Shri Sharma said that the President has said that he will look into it. He listened to us very calmly. He said he will definitely look into it, examine the position, and said just please give us some time. 
 On transparency of electoral funding, Shri Sharma said when so far, the Government in a very surreptitious manner amended many Laws of the country including the Representation of People Act on the issue of electoral funding which is making it opaque and not transparent. Election Commission is on record, it has given in writing, protested in writing, that the Government had no right to amend the Representation of People Act on such a sensitive matter through the Finance Bill. So, it is a constitutional question. 
 Now we are all for transparency, but what the Government is saying that makes it opaque, that above Rs. 2,000 you cannot donate but Corporates can donate hundreds of crores and only the Government and the RBI will know who has purchased how many bonds and to whom they have gone. So naturally, only the party in power will get all those Bonds and the others will be standing outside. It is very clear what is happening.