Sitharaman’s Reply In Rajya Sabha Raises Questions Over Demonitisation

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Tuesday gave a written reply in the Rajya Sabha that the currency in circulation in the country has risen 22% in May over the pre-demonetisation levels.

As per the written reply, the notes in circulation in India as on 4th November 2016 were worth Rs 17,74,187 crore, which have now increased to Rs 21,71,385 crore as on May 31, 2019. In fact the currency circulation in India had grown at an average growth rate of 14.51 percent yearly since October 2014.

This reply has come as a shocker as the government has always maintained that the demonitisation move has helped in curbing illegal cash transactions and hoarding of black money. The data indicates for the first time that the Modi Government’s move has boomeranged and has little impact on curbing corruption.

Giving a written reply to a query sought by Ramprit Mandal, Member of Parliament from Bihar, the Finance Minister replied that while the cash in circulation has increased in the system since demonetisation, she also said that the circulation of cash is linked with illicit activities.

The value of the notes in circulation in the country as on 4th November 2016 was Rs.17,741 billion. And now the total value of the currency has risen to Rs 21,137.64 billion. In terms of number of currency notes, as on May 31, 2019 there were 21,713.85 billion in circulation.

The Economic Survey 2016-17 noted that across the globe, there is a link between cash and nefarious activities — the higher the amount of cash in circulation, the greater the amount of corruption.

So, it seems that the government has at last started to agree that the much hyped move is a failure and had little impact on curbing the menace of black money from the country.

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