Is money a mirage? Well, possibly so, especially if you were an Indian or a foreigner visiting India anytime this week. You may have been rich, with a wad of notes you thought, but only to find, on the 8th of Nov, that they turned completely useless. And so, with one stroke, also being labelled the masterstroke, Modi decided to “demonetise” the currency. And what did that mean for the billions of people who trusted him with their vote to revolutionise the country ; energise the economy?
All it meant was that people were left completely helpless and the economy stumbled. The ordinary people, the aam aadmis; and aurats that is. They did not have wads of cash to fret over. They did not have sleepless nights over demonitisation. They had harrowing days, of standing in queues to get a small stash of Rs.100 notes- now the only legal tender, just to go about their daily business . Their business of life; of working hard and earning honestly. But, what did they get for all their honest work? Just more pain. Small traders suffered, customers could not pay – they had no legal currency on them; only Rs.500 notes that were useless. Sick people suffered, they did not have legal tender to buy medicines, travellers suffered, they were carrying only the old Rs. 500 notes and had no way to exchange them except at banks where queues were serpentine. Foreign tourists suffered, they had no legal cash at all, no way to withdraw a decent sum from the ATMS ( for the cash limit at ATS, where cash was available if at all, was a piddly Rs. 2000 Per day); no bank accounts in India to tap into; and so on and so forth.. The list goes on and on…
Mr Modi, Mr Jaitley and all.. What gives you the right to bring so much inconvenience to people who voted for you, trusted you to run the country ? An inconvenience of 1 or 2 days may be bearable, but if the pain goes on and on this way for weeks, is the surgery worth the price to be paid? Were there not other ways to unearth black money in this country? You have the massive Govt machinery behind you. Why not give targets to the income tax department to get X million more tax payers into the net each year? By analysing spending patterns, or having officials sit at suspect establishments and count the daily takings, then corroborate with the filed tax. Rather than harass the honest taxpayer as the Income tax deptt does today, since that takes the least effort. Isn’t it better to have useless paid officials sit and do some useful work, rather than have people take off from useful work to do the useless job of queueing up at banks ?
All this hungama , stinks of the govt inefficiency. Mr Modi, your intentions no doubt are the best. As a taxpayer, it hurts to see so many out of the tax net, people who create black money through corruption and bribery while others slog. But, again, execution is the key.. two days of inconvenience may be bearable, but weeks is not.. So while the sun is still shining out there, please get your act together, now, and stop this pain. Flush the banks, the ATMS with cash every two hours. Every single ATM out there. Increase the withdrawals to a decent sum, at least Rs 5000 . At least fulfil your promise of an energised economy..