Call-back of notes will hit poor: BJP

TNN | Jan 24, 2014,



NEW DELHI: Opposition BJP on Thursday slammed the government’s decision to withdraw by March 31 all currency notes issued prior to 2005 and said that instead of curbing black money, it had formulated an “anti-poor” move which would badly affect the illiterate and poor living in remote areas of the country.

“The latest gimmick of the finance ministry to demonetise the notes, printed before 2005, is an attempt to obfuscate the issue of black money stashed outside the country… This measure is strongly anti-poor. The ‘aam aurats’ and the ‘aadmis’ – those who are illiterate and have no access to banking facilities will be the ones to be hit by such diversionary measures,” said party spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi.

“People with small savings and no bank accounts will be targeted. The present scheme does nothing to remove black money from circulation,” she added.

In India, 65 per cent of the population does not have bank accounts and such people —largely illiterate, poor, old and living in remote areas —store their money in cash, she said. “They will fall victim to middlemen who will scare them that the notes are worthless and charge them hefty fees to convert them. They will also be ripped off by shopkeepers,” the BJP leader claimed.

Accusing the government of not being in a position to measure the correct quantum of black money as those possessing it would convert the same into new currency notes, Lekhi said, “This policy of Mr P Chidambaram is only meant for the blue blood and not for the sweating, red-blooded, toiling millions. It is not going to affect those who have numbered accounts in Swiss accounts, but will hit those who do not have any bank account even in India.”

The step is not going to affect those who have their savings in US dollars and other foreign currencies, but those who have saved in rupees, the BJP claimed. “No wonder Moody’s Analytics in their report have said, ‘If elected, a Modi-led BJP govt should offer a more business-friendly policy that will further support confidence and investment’,” she said.