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Chidambaram attacks Centre again, says corruption thrives despite demonetization

News Agencies | Updated on: 12 November 2017, 10:23 IST
Chidambaram attacks Centre again, says corruption thrives despite demonetization

Senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday once again teared into the Centre over its demonetisation drive, citing it was a "colossal mistake," and that corruption thrived despite its implementation.

The former finance minister took to Twitter and posted a series of tweets that said: "A year after demonetisation, every justification trotted out for that decision has been rebutted and ridiculed. Let me begin with the justification that was disarmingly simple and had gained considerable traction: ending the counterfeiting of currency."

"One year later we are told that out of the Rs 15, 28,000 crore (by value, of demonetised currency notes) that was returned to the RBI, there was only Rs 41 crore, by value, of fake currency! Hence, demonetisation was not the answer to fake Indian currency notes (FICN). The same could be said about the other two objectives declared by the Prime Minister on November 8, 2016: ending corruption and eliminating black money."

"Despite demonetisation, corruption thrives. Bribe givers and bribe takers are being caught regularly, often red-handed. As far as black money is concerned, income that is taxable is generated every day, a portion of that income escapes tax and is used for various purposes - such as giving bribes, funding elections, paying capitation fees, betting, hiring casual labour etc. Demonetisation was a thoughtless and rash decision that turned out to be a colossal mistake and imposed a huge cost in terms of denting economic growth and heaping misery on millions of ordinary people," he added.

He concluded his Twitter tirade with a scathing attack at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central Government that said: "No elected government in a democracy has the right to inflict unbearable hardship and misery upon the people. In one of his works, Hippocrates said, 'Do no harm'."

Ever since the inception of the demonetisation drive last year, the BJP and the Congress-led Opposition have been facing off over the viability of the move in the nation.

While the Opposition observed 'Black Day' on the one-year anniversary of the move, the BJP celebrated it as 'Anti-Black Money Day'.


First published: 12 November 2017, 10:23 IST