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HomePoliticsDemonetisation was an attack on India’s unorganised sector, says Rahul Gandhi

Demonetisation was an attack on India’s unorganised sector, says Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi alleged that PM Modi wishes to make India a cashless economy while the unorganised sector, which comprises the poor, farmers, labourers and small traders, works on cash.

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New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said demonetisation was an attack on the India’s unorganised sector and the country will have to fight it together after recognising it.

He also said the decision to scrap high-value currency notes was an attack on the country’s poor, farmers, labourers and small shopkeepers.

Speaking on the economy in the second part of his video series on social media platforms, Gandhi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishes to make India a cashless economy while pointing out that the unorganised sector, which comprises the poor, farmers, labourers and small traders, works on cash.

“Demonetisation was an attack on India’s poor, its farmers, labourers and small shopkeepers.

“Demonetisation was an attack on India’s unorganised economy and we must recognise this attack. The entire country will have to fight against it together,” he said.

On November 8, 2016, the prime minister announced demonetisation, making old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes useless, and the entire country stood in front of banks to deposit their money and savings.

Gandhi claimed that the move neither erased black money nor did the poor benefit from it.

“So who got the benefit? The advantage was given to India’s biggest billionaires. How? The money that you had in your pockets, that you had in your homes was taken away and used by the government to waive the debts of these people,” he said, noting that this was just one of the goals.

“The second goal was to wipe out cash from the system. Our informal sector, which is the sector of the unorganised economy, runs on cash. Whether it is a small shopkeeper, farmer or labourer, he or she works with cash.

“The second goal of demonetisation aims to wipe out cash from the system, including from the informal or unorganised sector. The prime minister himself said he wanted a cashless India, but if there is a cashless India, the informal sector will be destroyed,” the former Congress chief said.

He said farmers, labourers, small shopkeepers, small and medium businesses, who were dependent on cash, have suffered due to this.

The Congress has stepped up its attack on the government after the country’s economy suffered its worst slump on record in April-June, with the gross domestic product (GDP) contracting by 23.9 per cent as the coronavirus-related lockdowns weighed on the already-declining consumer demand and investment.

The GDP contraction in the world’s fifth-largest economy compared with a 3.1-per cent growth in the preceding January-March quarter and a 5.2-per cent expansion in the same period a year ago, according to official data released on Monday.

Also read: 3 months after being flown home, Jharkhand’s struggling migrants now want to return to cities


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  1. We are so happy watching wrestling matches on tv about Rhea, nepotism etc. Why these boring topics of demonetization, GDP, economy, unemployment etc. Don’t be a killjoy and watch WWE/ RAW on tv.

  2. The biggest unorganized sector is the nexus of some Netas, Babus and the Business. This one is free for all sector, selling anything and everything that fetches money. These are the only people who did not stand in the queue to change the old for new, all honorable members of this elite unorganized sector.
    The problem is they lost big time but can not admit it. The pain is so deep that even years after the DeMo they keep moaning, while the rest of the nation has moved on re-electing the same dispensation with even bigger majority.

    • Mr Vijay Galande: India’s neta-babu-baniya nexus is indeed a large generator and consumer of black money. I would add one more ingredient viz. the goonda to that mixture to make it neta-babu-baniya-goonda nexus!

      But you seem to insinuate in your post that the BJP is different and clean whilst the opposition is not. That is total rubbish. Indeed, during the very weeks immediately after demonetisation, Janardhana Reddy, a BJP Minister from Karnataka conducted a Rs 500 crore wedding for his daughter. Clearly, the note bans did not bother him, or his even more kleptocratic boss, Karnataka CM Yeddyurappa one bit. In conclusion: the note bans were designed to deplete the opposition parties of the BJP of their illicit funds whilst the BJP itself could cling on to its vast hoard of illicit funds.

      That the very people who suffered from demonetisation re-elected the same government that heaped that suffering on them is not a great surprise. Yes, Modi and the BJP getting a fresh mandate despite having crashed a smoothly running economy, crippling the informal sector and causing loss of lives and livelihoods can explained by the fact that the main objectives of demonetisation were political and not necessarily curbing black money. Demonetisation deprived opposition parties of their sources of funds for fighting elections whilst the BJP escaped unscathed.

      Indeed, as someone who lives and works in a French-Swiss border town, I personally saw hordes of bagmen – many Gujarati speaking – in the weeks preceding demonetisation in the main banking districts of Zürich, Switzerland. They were not there for the tourism for sure ! Additionally, as long as the electorate can be convinced to vote on the basis of identity as opposed to issues, demagogues like Modi and Trump will always win. After all, many of Trump’s voters were the very poor white Americans who stood to lose the most from a Trump Presidency.

      Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) said:

      “One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived”

  3. It is doubtful if this man understands even Economics 101. He neither has educational qualifications nor administrative experience and neither has he done 1 day’s worth of honest labour in his entire life. But the leftist media calls him “Gandhi scion” and Congress leader. Is this how low the Congress has fallen?

    • Nonsense Mr Yatin Mistry !

      You are the one understands zilch, I repeat zilch of economics. Indeed, you don’t seem to have a grasp of even the very rudiments of economics. Of course that has not hobbled you from the full-throated braying you indulge here advertising your colossal ignorance of the subject.

      Whatever be the other faults of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress, its dynastic politics and so on, the subject being discussed is demonetisation. Not Rahul Gandhi the person, the Congress party or politics. And RaGa is right in pointing out that demonetisation delivered a blow to the solar plexus of the cash depåendent informal sector of India. Arguably, demonetisation was one of the craziest and most idiotic decisions taken in the economic history of any nation. You ought to confine yourself to that subject and muster arguments to demonstrate skills in economics to counter RaGa’s assertions.

      Demonetisation was an archetypal Modi decision taken against the advice of RBI Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan and the macroeconomics specialists in the bank. It was also opposed by then Chief Economic Adviser Dr Arvind Subramanian. Yet, the Delhi University graduate defied professional economists and preferred to listen to advice from quacks like Anil Bokil & Baba Ramdev and wreck the informal sector of the economy.

      By removing 86% of the cash in circulation in the economy, PM Modi induced a liquidity shock in a relatively smoothly functioning economy for utterly no reason. It stopped many transactions that would otherwise have taken place; it unleashed a wrecking ball on the agricultural sector which ran entirely on cash; people died waiting in bank queues; many maids and daily wage earners had to lose incomes whilst waiting to exchange notes and so on. But worse still, the whole exercise was pointless as all the notes were returned back to the RBI, defeating the entire purpose of the exercise. The rich, as usual, escaped whilst the poor bore the brunt of this harebrained scheme.

      The effects of demonetisation are being felt even today. The informal sector never really recovered from the liquidity shocks it was dealt in November 2016. And that has actually worsened the depression that the country is facing now in the wake of the COVID crisis.

      Demonetisation was an unforgivable act of economic terrorism and RaGa is right to point that out. Although I understand that quacks in economics like you would have difficulties coming to terms with that.

    • Mr Vikram Arora: The subject under discussion is demonetisation and its impact on the economy. If you have not studied economics and cannot discuss demonetisation in the context of its economic impacts, you ought to shut up.

      RaGa’s political performance is for the Congress party and voters to decide. But here, the discussion pertains to economics. And he scores a very solid goal when he shows that the Gujarati graduate of Delhi University scored a massive self-goal when he foolishly made 2 of the most used notes in the economy invalid. The economy went into a tail spin from which it is yet to recover. And as RaGa rightly asserts, the cash-dependent informal sector was dealt a crushing blow from which it is yet to recover. Indeed, the effects of the current COVID created depression have been worsened by demonetisation.

      Let us give credit to RaGa when it is due.

    • You should worry more for the further potential disasters that the present Modi and gang can bring to the country and its hapless people rather than the imaginary ones through RaGa that you have foolishly suspected.

      • Exactly Mr Murtada !

        Odd indeed that bhakths like Mr Vikram Arora continue to tilt at windmills completely oblivious to the serious problems that Modi has created for them. But then, few members of a cult will question the cult leader…

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