New Delhi: Launching a scathing attack on Narendra Modi-led government over demonetisation yet again, former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidamabram on Friday claimed that nearly 3-4 lakh crore of black money has been converted to white.Also Read - Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Chiranjeevi, Khushboo Hail Ilaiyaraaja's Rajya Sabha Nomination
“If all the currency notes have been exchanged then obviously a significant portion of black money stock in the country has been exchanged. Govt had claimed that 3-4 lakh crore will not return to the RBI and that will be the black money stock,”Chidambaram said, while talking to news agency ANI. Also Read - Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Resigns as Minority Affairs Minister, May Run For Vice President Post
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“If all has come back to RBI then the logical conclusion is 3-4 lakh crore of black money has been converted to white. So there is a suspicion in fact it’s a charge that you devised this demonetisation only to enable people with black money to convert into white,” the former Finance Minister asserted.
He also claimed that there was a suspicion expressed by many that even Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was not taken into confidence when Prime Minister Narendra Modi annpunced the demonetisation policy on November 8, 2016.
“In fact many of us think that Finance Minister was not taken into confidence when demonetization was announced,” the senior Congress leader told ANI.
Chidambaram’s latest remarks comes days after RBI data revealed that almost all the 500 and 1,000 currency notes that were made illegal in November 2016 returned to the banking system. Following the revelation, opposition parties questioned the efficacy of demonetisation in curbing black money.
Stating that the country paid a huge price for demonetisation, Chidamabram had said, “Indian economy lost 1.5 per cent of GDP in terms of growth. That alone was a loss of Rs 2.25 lakh crore a year. Over 100 lives were lost. 15 crore daily wage earners lost their livelihood for several weeks. Thousands of SME units were shut down. Lakhs of jobs were destroyed.”