Skip to main content

Demonetization a miscalculation, puts economy in chaos, Modi's ways becoming bizarre: Top US media house

By Our Representative
A influential international business news giant, based in New York, avidly followed by the corporate world across the world, has said that India’s “sudden” decision to demonetize 500- and 1,000-rupee notes on November 8, initially seemed a “masterstroke”, is proving to be a “grave miscalculation.”
Published as Bloomberg View, the editorial arm of the top media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, the commentary says, the step has plunged the Indian economy “in chaos”, even as pointing out that Modi appears to be increasingly getting nervous.
“His recent speeches on the subject have been frankly bizarre. In one, he seemed to laugh at those inconvenienced by the ban; in another, he broke down while speaking of the 'sacrifices' he'd made for India, and warned that he might be assassinated by 'forces' desperate to protect their 'loot',” says Bloomberg View, authored by Mihir Sharma, a known columnist.
“It’s become clear that the government was simply too cavalier in its planning”, says Sharma, adding, “Now that 86 percent of India’s currency is no longer valid, the central bank has struggled to print replacement denominations -- and the new notes are the wrong size for existing ATMs. Modi’s asked people to be patient for 50 days, but the process could take as long as four months.”
Wondering whether Modi at all “sought expert advice, or relied once again on a small and trusted set of politicians to determine policy”, Sharma says, “India’s simply too big and complex for shock and awe. Large parts of the rural economy use cash for 80 percent of transactions and have been hard-hit.”
The Bloomberg View, titled, “India's Great Rupee Fail” underlines, “In seafood-mad West Bengal, for example, the fishing industry is in a state of near-collapse; in the wheat-growing states of the northwest, farmers halfway through the sowing season have run out of cash to buy seeds.”
The comment says, “Few villagers have access to an ATM. Most have to trek to a bank branch to change their cash, which means losing out on crucial days of labor. Many Indians, particularly women, still don’t have an active bank account.”
Suggesting that the government had no idea of all this, Sharma says, “Finance Minister Arun Jaitley wondered aloud how many poor people would even have 1,000-rupee notes -- probably a rhetorical question, but surely it shouldn’t have been. Someone should've sought the answer before shutting down India’s financial system. ”
Agreeing that among India’s middle class, Modi’s step “still appears to be popular”, Sharma, however, emphasizes, “It’s a moral project, not an economic one.” People are told to “stand in line” as a proof of “honor” to the “brave soldiers at the border.”
Questioning whether this support will last, Bloomberg View predicts, “The government’s plan is likely to be ineffective in the long term. Economists agree it will have no effect on the generation of black money through corruption.”
Pointing out that the optimists “wrongly” think enough of black money cash will be destroyed by hoarders, the comment says, one should remember that “a very small fraction of black money tends to be held as cash and that there are a dozen ways still available to launder that fraction.”
“The government has largely failed to close these loopholes”, it says, adding, “Worse, rumors of the demonetization were reportedly circulating before Modi’s announcement, leading to suspicions that the well-connected may have had time to dump their cash piles. ”

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

Jharkhand Adivasi lynched to death by mob "chanting" Jai Shri Ram: Fact-finding team

Counterview Desk
On April 10, 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the Sahu community of neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob. A fact-finding team of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), comprising of several activists and representatives of member organisations, conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the incident on April 14-15.

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.