Impact of note-ban not assessed: Govt

Last Updated 16 December 2018, 15:00 IST

More than two years after the failed demonetisation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was slapped on India in November, the government has told Parliament that it has not done any assessment or conducted any study on the impact of note ban across the country.

The Ministry of Finance has admitted in the reply of a written Lok Sabha question that no impact assessment has been conducted yet.

To question on whether the government has assessed/studied the impact and after effects of demonetisation on the economy, Minister of State for Finance P Radhakrishnan said, "no".

The assertion came amid top NDA ministers, including Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, stressing benefits of demonetisation in every possible fora. Jaitley has even written articles on the benefits of demonetisation. His latest write up was on the eve of demonetisation completing two years.

Despite Opposition's criticism, Jaitley defended demonetisation saying it resulted into identification of 17.4 lakh suspect bank account holders, increased tax collection and tax base.

On the same day, British Daily 'The Guardian' wrote in its editorial, "Modi is determined not to concede the folly of demonetisation, which cost 100 lives, at least 1.5 million jobs and left 150 million people without pay for weeks".

It said Modi ought to own up the mistakes of his own policies.

Most of the macro-economic data sets since the time of demonetisation have pointed to a slowdown in India's economy.

The recent economic growth numbers for the July-September quarter showed the economy had slowed significantly to 7.1% from 8.2% in the January-March quarter.

And, the economy showed a lack of momentum all through in NDA years before the government revised the back-series data last month which brought down UPA years GDP numbers, showing NDA in a better light.

Modi has often quoted demonetisation as a successful structural reform in his speeches and election rallies.

But his former economic advisor Arvind Subramanian, who quit the government ahead of tenure, was the latest one to call demonetisation a “massive, draconian, monetary shock”.

(Published 16 December 2018, 14:28 IST)

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