In a surprise announcement yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that all ₹500 and ₹1,000 bank notes would be scrapped from midnight. The move is aimed at stamping out corruption and draining illicit cash from the economy.
If you thought that the PM came up with this idea overnight, you are wrong. While Modi is earning both bouquets and brickbats for his decision, it seems somebody else thought of this before him.
A group of crusaders who subscribe to the theory of "ArthaKranti", propounded by Aurangabad-based architect and chartered accountant Anil Bokil, preached the idea of scrapping ₹500 and ₹1,000 bank notes long back.
In July this year, Bokil met the prime minister to discuss his ideas of curbing black money. Reports suggest that while he was given only eight minutes, he ended up discussing his plans with Modi for over two hours.
Bokil is of the opinion that scrapping of high-denomination notes will solve the problem of black money.
"Unaccounted hidden huge cash is skyrocketing the prices of properties, land, houses, jewellery etc and hard earned money is loosing its value; this trend will stop immediately," he had said in a video, while presenting the theories of his group 'Arthakranti Sansthan'. Bokil also said that such a move will end the circulation of 'fake' currency.
Watch him speak here:
Bokil's proposals include other things too. He makes radical recommendations, including the withdrawal of the existing taxation system (barring import duties) and replacing it with a single-point transaction tax, to be deducted at source, and restricting cash transactions to Rs 2,000, which would not attract any tax.
The ArthaKranti team has been meeting several politicians and economists for a while now. In March 2007, Pratibha Patil, who was then the governor of Rajasthan, wrote to the then Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee urging him to give the ArthaKranti team an opportunity to present their model before members of parliament. Since then, this team has been trying to influence politicians.
Seems like, this time, they succeeded.
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