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Arun Shourie terms demonetisation 'largest money laundering scheme ever', 'idiotic jolt' on economy

Former union minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Shourie has stepped up his attack the Narendra Modi government and its policies, terming the demonetisation exercise as a money laundering scheme. He made the comments to NDTV last night.

"It was the largest money laundering scheme ever, conceived and implemented entirely by the government," Shourie told the TV channel. He also said the move was an "idotic jolt" and "everyone who had black converted it into white."

Shourie's comments come at a time when the government is firefighting criticisms from various quarters that the note ban launched on 8 November 2016, purportedly to flush out black money from the system, has only helped those who had black money to convert it legitimately. Data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed that 99 percent of the banned notes returned to the system, though the expectation was about Rs 3-4 lakh crore may be  extinguished.

Arun Shourie. AFP

Arun Shourie. AFP

Shourie also criticised the government for making the rollout of goods and services tax on 30 June a grand affair, just like the country gaining independence from the British.

The indirect tax reform was introduced with much fanfare in a one-hour programme at the central hall of Parliament on midnight of 30 June. Shourie called it an "event management" by the government in the interview with the TV channel. The tax reform was hastily rolled out with changes even at the eleventh hour. "Is that the way to roll out a reform?" he asked.

Flaying the style of functioning of the government, Shourie wondered if it needs a "wah wah" even for its 'normal job'. He claimed the economic policies were formulated by 2.5 persons, viz, Amit Shah, Modi and an in-house lawyer.

This is not the first time Shourie has come down heavily on the government. "Government is more concerned about managing headlines than putting policies in place. The situation is like the many unconnected different pieces of a jigsaw puzzle lying in a mess with no big picture in mind about how to put them together," he had said in an interview earlier.

The latest attack on the government comes after Yashwant Sinha last week criticised finance minister Arun Jaitley for mismanaging the economy. He had said the demonetisation and GST have led to job losses and sharpened the growth decline to 5.7 percent in the April-June quarter. In fact, he said, the growth as per the old calculation method would be just 3.7 percent.

Updated Date: Oct 04, 2017 12:13 PM

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