Former Union Minister Arun Shourie on Tuesday termed the demonetisation as the world's 'largest money laundering scheme'. Shourie said this in an interview to a news channel where he was speaking on the current GDP slowdown. He said: "Demonetisation was a money laundering scheme. Because everybody who had black money, converted into white through banks." Shourie further said that it was conceived by the government, entirely implemented by the government and entirely acclaimed by the government.
The Former Minister also suggested that none of the stated objectives was really achieved after demonetisation. He said: "Which argument today survives? Black money? All of it turned white. Terrorism? Terrorists are still coming into India. At the end they have nothing to say."
Prime Minister Narednra Modi on November 8, the day he announced the demonetisation, had said that the move would destroy black money and would make terrorists bankrupt. Shourie supported Yashwant Sinha and P Chidambaram's latest comments on economic slowdown. He said these economists have been 'talking about facts' that are based on the reports from The Economic Survey and the RBI.
Several economists have expressed their concern over the latest economic slowdown. India's GDP growth for the period of April-June came down to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent . The growth rate declined further from the 6.1 per cent in the preceding quarter. The Economic Survey had projected a growth of 6.75 per cent to 7.5 per cent for 2017-18.
"Is it a fact or not that GDP has collapsed to 3.7 per cent according to the old series? Is it a fact or not that index of industrial production has gone down from about 9 per cent in 2015-16 to about 1.7 per cent in April to July? Is it not a matter of concerned," Shourie asked.
Earlier in September, former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha wrote a hard-hitting article , accusing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of destroying the economy. He had also termed the demonetisation as an unmitigated economic disaster that has played havoc with businesses.
Sinha had underlined, in the article, the recent economic crisis and said: "Private investment has shrunk as never before in two decades, industrial production has all but collapsed, agriculture is in distress, construction industry, a big employer of the work force, is in the doldrums, the rest of the service sector is also in the slow lane, exports have dwindled, sector after sector of the economy is in distress."
This is not the first time when Shourie has criticized the government and its policies. In January this year, Arun Shourie said that the demonetisation was the 'greatest economic blunder in 70 years '. While seaking at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bengaluru, the former minister in Vajpayee's government said, "Demonetisation is the symptom of a pattern of government where there is no consultation. It may happen again and again."
Nine months later, Shourie again lambasted the top leadership and said those running the government do not seek any advice or hear the facts. He said: "This is a government of two-and-a-half persons, that is, Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and one in-house lawyer. They don't have the expertise and they have surrounded themselves by persons who don't have the expertise."