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None of us can forget Nov 8, 2016, the day when PM Modi announced the demonetization of high value currency notes (Rs. 500 & Rs. 1000) aiming at fighting shadow economy and counterfeit notes. As India is witnessing first anniversary of demonetization, ruling BJP is celebrating this day as ‘Anti Black Money Day’ while opposition is saying it a ‘Black Day’. We tried to find out what people think about it and what exactly they think.

Neeru says, “How can Demonetization be disposed as with something as “good intent” and Anti-Black Money day, when, black money laundering was and is being done by political parties till date!

Opaque political funding around the world is considered as the fountain head of corruption. Most of the unaccounted funds spent in election campaign is actually the black money.

Politicians passing common man’s small savings as black money is basically a way to put veil on their black money and the black money of crony capitalists.

For the common people in India, the black money is not the savings of a street-side tea shop or the local vegetable vendor or a homemaker dealing in cash, for us it is the money of big crony-capitalists, corrupt politicians and opaque funds of political parties.

In fact last year, after demonetization, political parties could easily become a channel to settle black money of corrupt politicians and big corporates!

In India , till February 2017, political parties could collect donations of Rs 20,000 or less without having to reveal who donated the money and their income tax PAN number in cash. A political party could have comfortably said it collected this amount of cash in old currency donations before demonetization and demanded the same in new currency by 30 December.

Although in February, 2017 the cash donation limit was reduced to Rs 2000 by the Modi Government.

But this actually a mere deception!

There is no limit on the amount a party can receive from anonymous donations and also there is no limit on total amount a party can receive in cash from all sources combined.

Further, the Election Commission of India in front of a Parliamentary committee stated electoral bonds as a ‘retrograde step’.

As per the EC: “The amendment in section 29 C of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 making it no longer necessary to report details of donations received through electoral bonds is a retrograde step as transparency of political funding would be compromised as a result of the change.” Introduction Of Electoral Bonds A Retrograde Step: Election Commission To Parliamentary Panel

According to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report issued in January 2017, 75% funding of six major political parties is from unknown sources! So, essentially demonetization only struck at the small savings of the lower middle class and middle class.

How may big fish were trapped is yet to be seen and whether any jump in the funding of political parties from unknown sources have been scrutinized is also a question that needs an answer.

According to the annual RBI report released in August 2017, Rs 15.28 lac crore out of the Rs 15.44 lac crore in currency that was rendered invalid on November 8, 2016 has come back into the Indian banking system. This means that 98.96% of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes that were banned as a result of Demonetisation came back to the central bank by the end of June 2017.

So, the much hyped fight against black money will actually happen when funding of political parties will be clean. As long as huge amount of money is the rider for winning an election in India corruption, crony-capitalism and of-course black money will continue.”

Balaji writes, ” This is in response to the opposition parties calling the demonetization anniversary, Nov 8, a black day. Although responding is not needed, responding, to me shows their assertiveness.

The results of demonetization are mixed and inconclusive. If the ‘black day’ group cashes this opportunity using their media dominance, it will impact NDA hugely. So NDA may be having some plans to counter it, at least to reduce the impact.

The result is most likely to be a success for the ‘black day’ group because demonetizations’ success is not visible to layman.

  • Terrorist funding doesn’t matter much to layman, nor does long term benefits.
  • A vast majority of people have zero or very little knowledge about economic growth indicators.
  • ‘Many people died in the ATM queue’ sells well.
  • Cashless or less cash policy is not well received in retail circle.
  • ‘Black day’ gang have got significant success in projecting BJP/Modi as promoting wallet companies like PayTm. Soot boot sarcar image of BJP is a great plus to the gang.

I think BJP must announce some great economic schemes well before the ‘black day’ which should look effective by just the policy description itself to counter the black day group effectively.”

According to Ada, “It’s called PR. Public Relations. The party is so into maintaining the brand BJP to ensure they remain in power that they are resorting to even PR a failed product into their achievements.”

All in all, people have a mix opinion about Demonetization.


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