Debate continues

As the day passes on, the demonetisation issue continues to divide the nation. Political parties, economists and even ordinary citizens are deeply divided over the issue. The winter session of parliament was almost washed out over demonetisation. As the debate goes on, it’s time for some reality check. As per media report the availability of cash in banks are improving but it might take months and perhaps year to get situation normal. The move has definitely slowed down the economy and its effect will deeply hurt the poor. Prime Minister Narendra Modi while declaring the decision of cancelling 500 and 1000 notes promised to unearth black money and put an end to corruption. But already report of people using the new notes for corruption has been reported from various parts of country.
For the first few weeks of demonetization every Indians felt that their collective suffering and inconvenience was justified because it would ultimately usher in a less corrupt, more equal India. But as the initiative enters its second month, more and more reports are emerging of seizures of vast quantities of hoarded cash in the new notes. Like water reaching the sea, the corrupt, it seems, have found ways to navigate around the government’s new obstacles. In just two states of Karnataka and Goa, Income Tax department recovered 202,200,000 rupees (roughly $3 million) in new 2,000 notes. IT department has registered a total of 36 cases and recovered unaccounted-for assets – mostly in cash, jewelry and gold – in excess of 10 billion rupees (roughly $150 million). Stories of humongous seizures of assets including new currency have become so common that news outlets are simply adding them as bullet points to stories with running tallies. A sense is building that while millions of Indians languish in ATM lines, the old black money system is simply restarting itself with the new notes.

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