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IAF transported 625 tonnes of new notes after demonetisation, reveals former chief Dhanoa

Dhanoa, who became IAF chief the month after demonetisation in 2016, said the force flew 33 missions but doesn't know how many crores the notes added up to.

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Mumbai: Former Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa has said that after demonetisation in 2016, the Indian Air Force (IAF) transported 625 tonnes of new currency notes to various parts of the country.

The move to scrap the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016.

Speaking at the Techfest event organised by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay here on Saturday, Dhanoa said, “When demonetisation took place, we (IAF) took the currency and brought it to you. If one crore comes in a bag of 20 kg, I do not know how many crores we moved.”

One of the slides of Dhanoa’s presentation showed that as part of internal services, the IAF carried out 33 missions transporting 625 tonnes of treasury consignment after the demonetisation was announced.

Dhanoa was the IAF chief from December 31, 2016 to September 30, 2019.

During the Techfest event, he also referred to the row over the Rafale purchase deal, saying such controversies slow down defence acquisitions, affecting capabilities of the armed forces.

The Bofors deal too got mired in controversy (during the Rajiv Gandhi government) despite the Bofors guns “being good”, he noted.

He also said that had Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman been flying a Rafale instead of a MiG 21 during the India-Pakistan stand-off after the Balakot strike last year, the outcome would have been different.

Also read: What would have happened if Abhinandan Varthaman was flying a Rafale, ex-IAF chief asks


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  1. There should have been no need to use IAF jets to move newly printed currency around the country, after the storm had struck. Months before 8th November, printing of alternate currency notes should have started and these should have been in position, to avoid the chaos and disruption. The primary object of disabling about four trillion of black money, giving the government a nice fiscal boost, was bound to fail. However, there was no justification for such a slipshod roll out. 2. A friend gave his driver and maid a year’s salary in advance. Both decided to explore new vistas.

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