Note ban derailed economy, says Mamata; BJP hits back


Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday described demonetisation as a “futile exercise” and said the BJP-led central government’s move to ban high-value currency notes on this day in 2016 ruined the country’s economy.

The saffron party was quick to hit back, claiming that the global financial crisis had a cascading effect on India’s economy and demonetisation had no role in it.

The Trinamool Congress supremo, on the third anniversary of note ban, asserted that she knew from the very beginning that the decision would ruin millions of lives.

“Today is the third anniversary of #DeMonetisationDisaster. Within minutes of announcement, I had said that it will ruin the economy and the lives of millions.

Renowned economists, common people & all experts now agree.

Figures from RBI have also shown it was a futile exercise,” the chief minister tweeted.

“Economic disaster started on that day and look where it has reached now. Banks stressed, economy in a complete slump. All affected. From farmers to the young generation to workers to traders, housewives… everyone is affected,” she added.

Taking a jibe at Banerjee, state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said the chief minister should refrain from commenting on matters she did not understand.

“It would be better if she takes concrete steps to revive the economy of the state instead of trying to score brownie points in politics. The economic slowdown is due to global economic crisis. All nations are affected. The chief minister should stop commenting on matters she doesn’t understand,” Basu maintained.

Not a single industry has come up in Bengal during Banerjee’s tenure, the BJP leader said.

“I would request her to look for avenues to improve the economic and industrial scenario of the state. During her tenure we have not seen a single industry coming up in Bengal,” Basu added.

Banerjee, during her campaign for Lok Sabha elections, earlier this year, had promised to conduct a probe into the demonetisation drive, if voted to power at the Centre.

On the first anniversary of note ban, she had turned her Twitter display picture black in protest.

On several occasions, the Trinamool Congress supremo alleged that the Narendra Modi government’s move was a “big scam” which benefited only a handful of people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a televised address on November 8, 2016, announced to the nation that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes — 86 per cent of all currency notes in circulation in value — would cease to be legal tender.

Modi had said that the decision was taken to crack down on black money, terror funding and corruption. (PTI)