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Opposition launches scathing attack on Modi over demonetisation

Chidambaram asks, whether it was a scheme to convert black money into white

New Delhi.

The opposition launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the demonetisation after Reserve Bank of India released its report on the same.

Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P. Chidambaram asked whether demonetisation was a scheme designed to convert black money into white.

The senior Congress leader "shammed" the Reserve Bank of India for recommending demonetisation.

"Rs 16000 cr out of demonetised notes of Rs 1544,000 cr did not come back to RBI. That is 1%. Shame on RBI which ‘recommended’ demonetisation," Chidambaram tweeted.

Continuing his attack, he wrote, "RBI ‘gained’ Rs 16000 crore, but ‘lost’ Rs 21000 crore in printing new notes! The economists deserve Nobel Prize."

He further asked whether 99 percent of notes were legally exchanged.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said India can never forgive Prime Minister Narendra Modi government for this anti-national act.

"99.9% of the notes back in the banking system. 100s died in queues. The poor suffered the most. All this for what?" he tweeted.

"Lives & livelihoods lost, the Economy got a shock, workers lost their jobs. India can never forgive Modi govt for this anti-national act (sic) he said in a series of tweet.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday highlighted that about 89 million notes of Rs. 1000 rupee currency did not come back to the system out of a total of 6700 million notes that were in the system as on November 8.

The apex banking system in its annual report stated that only 1.3 percent of Rs. 1000 notes didn’t return after the Centre’s demonetisation exercise.

RBI, in its report said that the cost of printing notes doubled to Rs. 7,965 crore in FY17 from Rs. 3,421 crore in FY16 on account of new currency printing after the note ban.

However, RBI said that it pumped in 2380 crore notes totalling Rs 5.54 lakh crore in the two months post demonetization between November 9 to Decemeber 31.

Earlier on November 8 last year, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government announced its demonetization drive, wherein, currency denominations of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes were stopped as legal tender.

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