Editorial: Mr Prime Minister! Pay Heed to Manmohan Singh

Sunil Dang, Editor-in-Chief THE DAYAFTER

Sunil Dand, Editor-in-Chief

On high valued denomination Indian currencies (Rs 100 onwards), it is promised by the RBI governor to pay the value of rupee mentioned on the note. Without getting into the debate over whether the decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes was good or bad, we need to understand that the fact it was announced by the Prime Minister was utter demeaning for the RBI Governor. Ideally, it should have been announced by the RBI governor as high value notes are issued by the RBI, which is an autonomous body. The way SMEs and MSMEs are facing financial crunch and the Indian economy has gotten hit by demonetization, it has put a huge question mark over the ‘Make In India’ and ‘Start Up India’ introduced by the PM. In the name of total crack down on the black money, PM has created inconvenience for the public in general (including senior citizens and patients) and forced them to stand in queues outside ATMs and banks. It’s a hard fact that about 150 people have died standing outside banks. Hence, when Dr Manmohan Singh — who has served us as RBI Governor, Finance Minister and as the Prime Minister — labels charges of demeaning the RBI Gubernatorial post and the office of Finance Minister and that this move would dent the Indian GDP by around 2 percent, then rather than behaving like a stubborn leader, Modi needs to introspect his decision rather pushing it further by amending more than six times in a fortnight.

The demonetization move has stunned the opposition especially due to the fast approaching assembly polls. Were the BJP sympathizers informed of this, is a matter of probe and the JPC could be a impartial answer to it. But, the way the opposition parties are opposing demonetization is unwarranted. Being in the opposition doesn’t only mean to criticize the government’s initiative and to not work out any solution. A creative opposition always gives proper solutions when they criticize any initiative. One complimentary outcome of the demonetization move is that it will contain the extravagant splurge during political events to a certain limit. These days’ expenses for elections and political events have gone up to an alarming level and that is because of the middlemen involved in it. So, political parties should welcome this move rather gunning against the government using the common man’s shoulder. In 1965 when India was facing cereal crisis, PM Lal Bahdur Shastri had done the rationing of marriages limiting the gathering to 25 people. At that time, his system was so smooth that not a single criticism came from any quarter of the society.

Going beyond demonetization, Kashmir is still under unrest and post surgical strikes; life in the border area has become hell. People are forced to live in panic because Pakistan has increased its cross-border activities and killing innocents including BSF and Indian army men. So, prima facial evidences suggest that the government’s post strike preparations were not up to the mark because Pakistan was bound to hit back after the Indian surgical strikes.

The global economy is under stress and is witnessing near 2 percent slowdown. Thankfully, India has remained almost insulated from the global financial crises even in 2008 when the global economy hit its nadir. But, given the move of demonetization of high value tenders, we are facing the crisis which may hit our economy by near 2 percent and 95 percent of the populace. So, the slowdown which could have hit our economy by May-June 2017 has been invited six months ahead of its schedule and hoarders have already started to dilute the demand-supply ratio in the market (especially the FMCG products) pushing inflation to an alarming level. Therefore, it’s time for introspection for the government. If they continue to do that, it would add further salt to the wounds of common man post demonetization.

Hope, the government comes out of Shani Trayodashi falling at the end of November and help the nation to celebrate Id-e-Milad with stabilization of the currency crisis.

Jai Ho!