Ahmedabad: Calling demonetisation an “organised loot and legalised plunder,” former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said the move, along with roll out of GST, has proved disastrous for the country.
Speaking during an interaction with traders and businessmen in Ahmedabad on the eve of the first anniversary of notes ban, Singh said the stated objective of demonetisation has not been met.
“I repeat what I said in the parliament. This was organised loot and legalized plunder. This twin blow (GST and note ban) is a complete disaster for our economy, it has broken the backbone of our small businesses and traders.”
He said the note ban exercise and Goods and Services Tax (GST) were “badly designed and hastily implemented.”
The former PM said that he was shocked when he heard PM Modi’s note ban announcement last year and “wondered who advised him on this reckless step”.
“Black money and tax evasion are menace that need to be tackled, but note ban was not the solution. It had been suggested many times in the past as well but as a responsible government we never took such a drastic measure,” he said.
“No where in the world has any nation taken such a drastic step that took away 86 percent of the legal tender…The stated objectives of note ban have not been met,” Singh said, adding the demonetisation was a black day for both economy and democracy
He said in order to promote a cashless economy, coercive steps like demonetisation are ineffective.
Singh, who arrived here in the morning, is also scheduled to hold a press conference at the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee office to boost the party’s prospects in the upcoming Gujarat elections.
His visit comes a day before Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s tour of Surat as the Congress marks the first demonetisation anniversary on November eight as ‘Black Day’.