Demonetisation was organised loot: Manmohan Singh

Rising unemployment in India is 'Modi Made Disaster': Rahul Gandhi

Tomorrow we mark one year since the disastrous policy was thrust on the people of our country. He also called demonetisation "organised loot and legalised plunder" and stated that none of the objectives outlined during its announcement have been met. "November 8 is a black day for Indian economy", he said.

Responding to critics of demonetisation, the Finance Minister said his government did not claim that note ban will put an end to corruption once for all, but it was certain that reducing the circulation of cash in the system had made indulging in corruption a very hard proposition. The PM has also accused former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and said the latter refused to combat the menace of corruption.

"An anti-black money drive is a moral step, loot is what happened in 2G, in Commonwealth Games 2010 and in coal block allocation", Jaitley said taking a dig at the Congress.

On the eve of the first anniversary of the note ban move, Singh launched a fresh bout of criticism against Modi government to discontinue currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. Despite the rebuttal from the ruling dispensation, Singh's words turned prophetic and India's GDP growth fell from 7.9% to 5.7%.

Earlier addressing the India Today Conclave, Jaitley sought to puncture claims that demonetisation had adversely impacted the small and medium businesses, a bulk of which were in the unorganised sector.

Along with demonetisation, GST has sown a deep-rooted fear of tax terrorism among the business community. For that we have to achieve 35% of growth rate per year. "This is awful for India's economy". "Good governance involves both the head and the heart and it pains me to say that the Union government has completely failed to do its duty on both fronts", Singh told the audience in Ahmedabad.

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A total of 18 Opposition parties have chose to observe November 8 as "Black Day" with protests and rallies across states to highlight "the cash crunch and economic slowdown", with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi meeting industrialists in Gujarat's Surat to highlight their "woes".

'This twin blow is a complete disaster for our economy. It has broken the back of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the textile hub of Surat alone where 60,000 looms have been discarded since July. Did he think about the impact on those who toil in the informal sector whose earnings dried up because of shortage of cash? In the rest of the country, it is equally bad if not worse. In the first half of fiscal year 2016-17, India's imports from China stood at Rs 1.96 lakh crore. Undisclosed income admitted and detected, taken together, amount to Rs 29,213 crores, close to 18 per cent of the amount involved in suspicious transactions, he said. The unprecedented growth in imports from China can be attributed to demonetisation and GST.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh argued the opposition's case, claiming that not only was demonetisation a flawed decision that had caused a needless disruption to the Indian economy, but it also risked unleashing harassment by tax sleuths probing illegal deposits. He mentioned that the bullet train project will neither benefit five crore Gujaratis nor the nation as a whole. He said that "Did the PM consider the alternative of the high speed train by upgrading broad gauge railway?"

"Is everyone who questions the outcome of demonetisation and GST a tax evader?"

The former PM said: "By questioning bullet trains, does one become anti-development?"

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