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Opposition attacks government on demonetisation, Congress calls it 'biggest scam'

Opposition attacks government on demonetisation, Congress calls it 'biggest scam'

The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) annual report for 2016- 17 today revealed that all but 1.4 per cent of the scrapped Rs 1,000 notes have returned to the banking system.

Chidambaram had also said that 99 per cent notes legally exchanged.

Jaitley questioned the knowledge on black money and its relation with the demonetised currency adding that the demonetisation's objective was also to create a digital economy and India was moving in the right direction. According to this argument the test of the success of demonetization in crippling the black economy lay in the fact of demonetized currency not coming back to the banking system. The Congress said RBI's report was proof that demonetisation had "utterly failed". "Of the total currency returned, only Rs 41 crore was fake currency", said Sharma. "The prime minister thinks that he has a better knowledge and understanding of Economics", he said.

Congress incharge of communications Randeep Surjewala drew a parallel of Modi with 14th-century monarch Muhammad bin Tughlaq for his decision to demonetise and demanded his resignation for "misleading" the people of the country.

"The Prime Minister made a sensational announcement on November 8 that unleashed financial anarchy and economic chaos in the country". Tens and millions of jobs were lost. "Now the prime minister should explain where is that black money?", he asked. 100s died in queues. But it did not, and in this process every citizens of the country - rich or poor, rural or urban - was affected. All this for what?. Moreover, 104 innocent lives were lost during the demonetisation drive.

He said Modi was inviting "ridicule" by continuing to claim in worldwide fora that the "world needs to learn from India, it being the fastest growing". "They were always under scrutiny", Chidambaram said adding that there were various ways to track people but demonetisation wasn't the way to do it.

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"The Prime Minister had betrayed the nation and his government had been proved incapable of running the nation, " he said.

"GDP growth slows from over 8 pc to 5.7 pc yet those living in glass houses of demonetisation disaster remain oblivious in their ivory towers".

He also said that the demonetisation scam not only dented institutional sanctity of the RBI but also the credibility of India overseas and demanded an apology from the prime minister.

To be fair to the PM, he did make a passing reference about cash in circulation when he said this - "The magnitude of cash in circulation is directly linked to the level of corruption". As many as a third of currency notes of these denominations were part of black money stashes, government officials suggested. The government has been gradually making enrolment to its national electronic database "Aadhaar" mandatory for tax returns, opening of bank accounts and any purchases above 50,000 rupees.

Surjewala also said, "Rewind: Modiji's obfuscation exposed once again". We had told the Prime Minister and the Government, this money belongs to the people of India, to the farmers, to the workers, to the housewives, to Government employees, to small entrepreneurs, to small industries, Mr Sharma said. "Since November 2016 and until the end of May 2017, a total of Rs 17,526 crore has been found as undisclosed income, and Rs 1,003 crore has been seized", the ministry said.