Mumbai [India], Nov.25 (ANI
): Hailing former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's warning to the Centre on the possible negative impact of demonetisation, the Congress party on Friday said the drive to end the use of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes was nothing but organised loot by the government.
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam told ANI
, "What Manmohan Singh said was absolutely correct. It is an organised loot by the Modi government. It is a clear cut monumental management failure because the whole nation is facing havoc."
Alleging that more than 65 people have lost their lives courtesy the demonetisation drive, Dr. Singh yesterday described the Centre's decision as a case of monumental mismanagement and warned that it would reduce GDP by at least two percent and weaken economic growth.
Dr Singh asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to find a more practical and pragmatic solution to prevent this distress on the public.
Dr Singh, who led the opposition charge in the Rajya Sabha, highlighted the problems of demonetisation.
"It is important to take note of the grievances faced by the people over demonetisation in the country. The PM has said that we should wait for 52 days, it is a short period. But for those who are poor and deprived, those 50 days can bring about a disastrous affect in the country," he said.
The former prime minister said demonetisation can weaken and erode confidence in the currency and the banking system in the country.
"I would want to know from the PM the names of any countries he may think of where people have deposited money in the banks, but are not allowed to withdraw their money. This alone, I think, is enough to condemn what has been done in the name of demonetisation," said Dr. Singh.
"In my opinion this scheme of demonetisation, the way it is being implemented, will hurt the agriculture growth in our country, will hurt small industry, will hurt all those people who are in the informal sectors in the economy," he added.
Dr Singh further said the national income, that is the GDP of the country, can decline about two percent as a result of this move.
"This is an underestimate and not overestimate. Therefore, I feel that the PM must come with some constructive proposal of how we can implement this scheme and at the same time prevent this distress that has been caused to the common people. It is no good that every day the banking system comes with modification of the rules, the conditions with which the people can withdraw money that reflects very poorly on the PM's office, on the FM's office and on the RBI," said Dr. Singh.
"I am very sorry that the RBI has been exposed to this sort of criticism which I think is fully justified," he added.
The Rajya Sabha earlier witnessed noisy scenes after the Opposition demanded that Prime Minister Modi should be present in the House during the resumed discussion on demonetisation.
Leader of the House Arun Jaitley objected to the decision of the Deputy Chairman to allow the former prime minister to speak during Zero Hour. He said if Dr Singh wants to speak on demonetisation, then the House should resume the discussion. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi suggested that the House first take up the discussion and then Dr. Singh can participate.
The Lok Sabha also witnessed uproarious scene as soon as Question Hour began. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge stuck to his party's demand to discuss the demonetisation issue suspending Question Hour. Later, opposition members including Congress, TMC, SP and NCP trooped into the well shouting slogans, forcing its adjournment. (ANI