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Cash seizures biggest scam, probe required: Chidambaram

He said the move has hit mainly the poor, and hardly affected the rich.

Written by Vivek Deshpande | Nagpur |
December 14, 2016 1:55:52 am


 Demonetisation, demonetisation news, Chidambaram, Chidambaram-demonetisation, demonetisation effects, demonetisation-GDP, India news, Indian Express Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram (Source: PTI Photo)

CALLING the demonetisation decision a “thoughtless pronouncement” that has mainly affected the poor, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday asked how new currency notes are finding their way to money launderers. “Is this money going directly to them from the currency press,” Chidambaram asked at a press conference on Tuesday.

Calling the seizure of new notes “the biggest scam of the year”, Chidambaram said, “The government says the Income Tax Department will probe the matter. But it’s a matter for criminal investigation,” he said.

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He said the move has hit mainly the poor, and hardly affected the rich. “Thousands of head-loaders, migrant workers, farmers, cart-pullers and other daily wagers, who depend on cash, have been hit by this utterly thoughtless pronouncement by the government,” he said.

Forecasting a dip in GDP between 1 and 1.5 per cent, he said, “The government’s claim about inflation going down is due to demand going down… But when demand goes down, there is no manufacturing, which means unemployment; and the economy taking a hit.”

“…the RBI holds a meeting every day at 5.30 pm, gets scripted notifications, which are then pronounced at the Cabinet meeting. I have sought minutes of those meetings to know if any dissent notes have ever come up. These minutes must be made public,” he said. About the need to maintain secrecy, he said: “More than 100 people decide on the annual budget every year. In the last 15 years, no details of the budget have come out.”

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