Rajat Sharma

Catch hoarders of black money, but spare common people their woes

The multiple raids by Income Tax department in the Metros and other cities against traders and jewellers on Thursday trying to help black money hoarders is a welcome step. Similar steps by Railways and Air India not to refund high-value tickets purchased with old Rs 500, Rs 1000 currency notes are also praiseworthy, but if one looks at long queues of common people outside banks across India on Thursday, several questions do arise. Why were not more counters opened in banks to swiftly deal with the large number of customers who had come to exchange old notes? Why was not sufficient cash kept at banks to deal with the huge rush? Why were separate counters not opened for women and senior citizens? Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may well say that there is a 50-day window for exchanging old notes, but for people hailing from lower and middle classes, a 50-day wait is too long. These are ordinary people who need money for their day-to-day essential requirements. And the result was chaos.This could have been avoided. Moreover, it is still not clear why the government has printed Rs 2000 notes and has also announced it would print new Rs 1000 notes. This flies in the face of earlier assertions that most of the black money has been hoarded in high-denomination currencies. For the record, in the US, the highest denomination is a 100-dollar note, and in the UK, it is a 50-pound note. Then what was the logic behind printing fresh Rs 1000 and Rs 2000 notes, if the aim was to root out black money?

Comments are closed.