[dropcap]P[/dropcap]rime Minister Narendra Modi has asked BJP MPs and MLAs to submit details of their bank account transactions between November 8 and December 31 to party president Amit Shah by January 01. The directive was reportedly given at BJP’s Parliamentary Party meeting, where Modi emphasised the need to lead by example in the campaign against black money. This is really laughable as we all know that the MPs and MLAs always declare their bank account and asset details during election through Affidavit. No MP or MLA is that fool to keep or deposit black money in their declared account. Instead of asking for bank details, Modi would have asked for benami properties his ministers acquired since 2014. He should ask for bank accounts of relatives, milkman, maids and drivers too. Moreover, the big question remains unanswered, how is demonetisation going to curb corruption if the records of BJP MPs are submitted only to Amit Shah? Instead of asking them to submit the details of transaction, let him find out the account numbers of their families and straight away get the details from the bank servers through the ministries. Modi should ensure that the bank transaction submit by his MPs & MLAs be made available in public domain. He should also bring his party’s bank accounts in public domain.
If PM is not misguiding us then he should ask his legislators and parliamentarians to disclose bank records for the past two years as this can only prove whether they have been involved in any money laundering activity or not. This will also be used to prove that opposition’s allegation that BJP party members were pre-informed about the demonetisation be wrong. Moreover, he should ask legislators to declare all the assets possessed by them. The PM’s instructions came following allegations that the BJP had informed some of its own leaders about the currency ban before it was announced, but this eye wash is not going to solve the purpose for long.
Actually, people don’t want to know the banking transactions of BJP legislators rather they would like to know why the Government waived the loan of rich and how much amount was lent to them? So far, many BJP lawmakers were caught for indulging in corruption by the CBI and Lokayukta. Why they were not punished and banned from contesting elections? After demonetisation, many BJP leaders were caught possessing black money, what punishment was awarded to them? Why no action has been taken against them and is there any guarantee that further action would be really taken. PM has already given enough time to his leaders before releasing pre-recorded message as a shocker to the nation. He has been hailed by many as a body blow to black money hoarders, but his demonetisation campaign is being criticized as a pre-election stunt, ahead of key polls in several states next year.
Modi also sought everybody’s support in his effort to usher in digital/mobile economy and push the society towards cashless transactions. At the meeting, Amit Shah told party MPs to motivate traders in panchayats, municipalities and other local bodies falling in their constituency to shift to cashless transactions. Asked about impasse in Parliament over demonetisation, Kumar said the government has been ready for discussion from the day one of the winter session and Modi will also intervene in both the House if the opposition wanted. But to our surprise, he left the parliament without debating the issue in spite of the insistence of opposition. BJP needs to understand that the economy is going to be affected. Many rating firms have also indicated about it. Non availability of cash for cash dependent transactions, which constitute a major chunk in our economy, has been hampered. Goods are moving slowly. Trade has slowed down and its impact will be reflected in quarterly results.
There is a surge in demand for swipe machines in local kirana stores, vegetable vendors; meat shops etc. Common man and small time vendors are yet to be introduced to plastic money or online transactions. People have suffered hardships and many lives were lost due to government’s inability to act after announcement. Just seeking sorry or shedding tears, PM cannot hide his failure.
Demonetisation has forced them to go cashless. They cannot afford to sit quietly. Problems associated are nevertheless not ignored. There was organised loot by politicians in the last 60 years which has been affected by demonetization. People have lost faith in the banking system because large corporates turning defaulters and hurting banks’ bottom-line. All the laws viz DRT, SARFAESI enacted during his tenure for recovery of defaulter’s dues could not stop corporate loot of the banks.
People have different opinions about demonetisation. So far the drive has claimed 70 lives and none of them were black money hoarders. The fountainhead of black money is political party’s fund. The law permits them to collect 80% of their fund in cash and any donations upto 20000 or more should be mandatorily made through cheque. Let Modi bring law to make any donations only through cheque or ECS. That 5 recommendations made by SIT on Black money have not been touched by Modi. Modi and his party has rejected the proposal of political funding to come within the ambit of RTI. Lodha commission estimates that betting in cricket which involves almost Rs. 24000 crores yearly is entirely in cash and generate black money. It has asked Modi government to pass law to legalise the same which will fetch at least 8000 crores per year. That all religious, educational donations be made mandatorily in cheque which at present is done in cash and many other important points which Modi has not accepted deliberately. The task is a challenging one, but with difficulties to public. To unearth black money and for fighting corruption, the country needs to take bitter medicine. At the same time, Government has to recalibrate ATMs for dispensing Rs. 500 new notes, which will lessen the people’s sufferings.
Middle class people, using broadband and smart phones, may not face severe difficulties as funds can be transferred easily. Hence, it is high time to educate people for digital payments in vernacular languages linking with aadhar card and biometric through ATMs itself, which will go a long way in simplifying the digital payments, especially in rural areas. Government has to make all out efforts to educate the people in this regard.
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