[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]P[/dropcap]rime Minister (PM) Modi announced on Nov 8 that till Dec 31 people can deposit any amount of the scrapped Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes. He asked all mitrons (friends) to give him just 50 days (sirf pachas din). But on the 40th day he changed the rules. He now says that these notes worth Rs.5000 can be deposited only once before Dec 31. If you have to deposit more you will have to satisfy the bank manager why you couldn’t deposit earlier!! Incidentally this is the 59th rule introduced by the finance ministry to implement the demonetization program.
Corrupt bank officials have made a nonsense of his note bandi scheme. They have exchanged lakhs of crores of demonetized notes belonging to tax evaders into new currency for 30% commission.
Critics of Modi are quick to jump and accuse him of reneging on his promise. But what can the poor man do? Corrupt bank officials have made a nonsense of his note bandi scheme. They have exchanged lakhs of crores of demonetized notes belonging to tax evaders into new currency for 30% commission. In fact, demonetization, which was intended to deliver a body blow to domestic black money, has most ironically spawned a whole new industry in which many bank officials and agents have made thousands of crores of black money by exchanging defunct notes for new for hefty commissions.
It is really sad to see a corrupt bureaucracy bringing the prime minister of the world’s biggest democracy to his knees. Modi trusted the bureaucrats to implement his extremely well-intentioned scheme of demonetization. But, the babus, who have looted the nation more than the British, told him to take a walk. Modi thought, rather naively, that the officials would ensure the success of his scheme. He didn’t realise that power in India is in the hands of the bureaucrats. Modi may be receiving red carpet welcome in Washington, Moscow, Beijing etc. But back home it is the bureaucrats who call the shots. Dr. Subramanian Swamy, who is a senior MP of the ruling BJP, has to write to Modi to complain how certain officials of the finance ministry are preventing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from acting against NDTV despite serious allegations of money laundering of crores of rupees. The ED had unearthed details of Karti Chidambaram’s alleged benami properties abroad. But it can’t proceed against him because of pressure from mysterious bureaucrats of the FM.
Some months ago, RSS ideologue, S Gurumurthy, had extensively written how a senior Income Tax official of Chennai was hounded by the top brass in Delhi after he commenced a probe against PC Chidambaram. The ED investigation into the Vasan Eye Care scam too has been effectively stymied. It appears that even though Arun Jaitley is the FM, certain powerful officials of his ministry are still loyal to Mr Chidambaram.
Soon after he announced his bold scheme some of his admirers said he deserves nothing short of a standing ovation from the nation. With a substantial portion of the unaccounted money now converted into new currency (thanks to corrupt bank officials) these Modi bhakts may well hide their heads behind the nearest sofas.
But there is hope. With some diligent investigation, it would be possible to locate the exact officers who indulged in this exercise. But this too will have to be done by the same Babus! Will they? Only time will tell.
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2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.