[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Central Government has passed an ordinance that if somebody possesses more than 10 demonetised notes then it will be considered as a criminal offence. This ordinance or executive order has been cleared by the cabinet and will be sent to the President for his approval and signature. Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 denomination notes were declared illegal by the central government on November 8 in an anti-corruption move. Old notes can be deposited in banks only till December 30. After that, deposits will be allowed till March 31 at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) but with stringent conditions. Union Cabinet has approved an ordinance in this regard.
This shows that the government does not understand the relationship between them and the free citizens. Currency notes are just like IOUs (I owe you) backed by the guarantee of the government. Now, demonetization means that one had to exchange older IOUs for newer ones with great inconvenience, which of course would not have been tolerated in any country that understood the meaning of liberty and rights of the people. Now, even holding old IOUs are illegal. How foolish the decision is, when a debtor will not only refuse to honour the IOU but also claim that merely holding it will be a criminal offence, this is a ludicrous ordinance. Should I be penalised if I’ve kept the old notes as memento, or if my family member’s piggy-banks hold it? What if I find a few old notes in my house after the deadline? There are people in villages that have stored the old notes but yet not received an opportunity to exchange or deposit it because of long queue in the banks, what the government is trying to achieve from this ordinance? I don’t understand why the government wants to punish people holding mere ‘raddi’ paper?
Instead of coming up with such thoughtless ordinance, government should impose limit on cash holding for every family. Anything beyond that would land possessor five years jail terms. Make gold transactions and real estate transactions only through digital medium with mandatory details of PAN, bank account and Aadhar card. Make salary payments — even for labourers — mandatory through digital modes. Spare charging the law abiding businessmen for digital transactions. They are charged 2.5% transactions taxes on every electronic/card payment. Also make payment by aadhar as much as possible, which will free people from hefty charges on card based transactions of Visa and Master cards. In every manner, ensure cashless transactions become mandatory, from school fees to hotel’s bill. Ask companies should make bar code based sales mandatory. Remove toll/entry and other taxes collection from roads. These are the biggest breeding ground of illegal money collection. Make sure they also go digital for payment. Ask every vehicle to get digital chip, so toll can be automatically deducted from their account if they passed the point. Not just illegal collection will stop but the traffic congestion at the toll nakas will also be abolished. There are many such efficient ways and points to go digital and transform India. Always being harsh and rude on poor people will not help. Government should be thoughtful and it should realise that 70 per cent population of India is still underprivileged.
While announcing the demonetisation, the government had allowed people to either exchange demonetised notes or deposit them in bank and post office accounts. While the facility to exchange the banned notes has been withdrawn, depositors have time till 30th December to deposit money. RBI frequently changed rules. They did not even give space to people to even secure their hard earned money. People had undergone “immense” trouble due to the invalidation of the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes.
In spite of all the high drama of note ban, Narendra Modi’s government has failed to check corruption and black money in the country. However, it added up to the woes of the poor. Despite, a new type of corruption created to exchange the demonetised notes. Demonetisation was a direct attack on the country’s financial institutions and the poor. A new market for the conversion of money has been set up. Anyway, I hope that people will not suffer after this. Nevertheless, there are few questions the opposition and common public would like to ask BJP and its Prime Minister and they should answer them without any prejudice. The questions are, what are the collections of the old notes after November 8? What is the loss incurred by the economy? How many people have died after November 8, have they been given compensation? Who were the experts the PM consulted before the notes ban?
Anyway, the world of terrorism, drug mafia, human trafficking and underworld will come back once sufficient money is made available to the common man. These things will not pause for long, and now also they have not been affected much as we have seen new denomination notes recovered from terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir. However, people are keen to know what changes come after this decision?
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