According to the data published by the Reserve Bank of India, total value of currency in circulation in our country was Rs 14.32 lakh crore as on 28th April, 2017. This is 20% less than the Rs. 17.97 lakh crore of currency in circulation prior to the Note Ban of 8th November, 2016. In other words, the old rupee notes that were banned have been replaced with new notes only to the extent of 80% even after six months.
These facts confirm the correctness of the following assessment made four months ago in the CGPI publication, 'On the Note Ban: Real Aims and False Claims', Jan 2017:
Pamphlet brought out by CGPI in January 2017.
"The truth is that a prolonged period of acute cash crisis has been deliberately created, so as to compel people to shift from cash to digital transactions"
Facts are confirming that the real aim of the Note Ban was not to curb corruption and financing of terrorism, or to uplift the poor, as claimed by the Prime Minister. The real aim was to enrich several Indian and foreign monopoly capitalists, who have started reaping enormous profits through the fees collected on digital transactions.
Available data show that the total value of digital transactions peaked at Rs. 6.81 lakh crore in December 2016, when the cash shortage was the most acute. It subsequently declined to Rs. 5.99 lakh crore in February 2017. This shows that as the shortage eased and withdrawals became easier, many people who had adopted digital payments have reverted to using cash. It shows that many people still prefer using cash because of the risks of cyber theft and additional fee on digital payments.
The Note Ban opened up new avenues for capitalist monopoly companies to reap maximum profits. At the other pole, it led to the destruction of jobs and livelihood for crores of daily wage workers. It compelled farmers to sell their crops at low prices in their desperation for cash. It led to a slump in construction activity and in many other sectors.
The Government of India's claim that the economy has grown by more than 7% in 2016-17 in spite of the Note Ban is a blatant lie. As the official Chief Statistician has himself pointed out, this estimate is based on data which cover only large-scale firms. It is heavily biased upwards because it excludes the unregistered and informal units which suffered the most from the cash crunch.
As far as corruption and black money are concerned, the recent five state elections saw as many helicopters, rallies, road shows and horse trading of politicians as before. It has been reported that Rs. 90 crore was distributed among voters during a recent by-election in a single assembly constituency in Chennai.
As far as terrorism is concerned, the recent beheading of two soldiers, designed to set India and Pakistan at loggerheads with each other in the service of American geo-political interests, shows that terrorist crimes cannot be curbed as long as American imperialism is not kicked out of this region.
Six Questions with respect to demonetisation that the RBI must answer*
The RBI has refused to answer these questions. It has also refused to make public the meeting that debated the demonetization measure on the basis that such information, if disclosed, would be "detrimental to the nation’s economic interests".