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India Deserves Straight Answers To These 15 Questions About Demonetisation

29/11/2016 12:20 PM IST | Updated 29/11/2016 1:17 PM IST
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In the past fortnight, I've read newspapers, watched TV and looked for informed debates based on data and facts. Frustratingly enough, the debates were uniformed and the more pertinent questions were missing.

We have already seen moving goal posts, shifting targets and changing responsibility centres. Here are some questions that need clear answers so that the citizens of this country have greater clarity and less confusion.

1. Whose decision was it to demonetise?

a) The RBI?

b) The government?

2. What is the primary objective?

a) Curbing black money?

b) Stopping terrorism?

c) Making India a cashless economy?

3. How long will the pain last?

a) 50 days?

b) 1 year?

c) 15 years?

4. When was the decision taken?

a) 6 months back?

b) One month back?

c) 2 years back?

5. Did we factor the fall in GDP, and if so by how much?

a) 2%?

b) 1%?

c) 3.5%?

6. At what level of non-surrender would the scheme be called a success?

a) ₹2 lakh crores?

b) ₹3 lakh crores and above?

7. Did we factor in the loss of employment and if so by how much?

a) 2 million?

b) 10 million?

c) 31 million?

8. What will the government do if the RBI doesn't declare a dividend for the non-surrendered notes?

9. Does the government know when it can inject the withdrawn money back in the system?

a) 50 days?

b) 6 months?

10. Who is in charge of the situation?

a) The RBI?

b) The Finance Ministry?

c) The Prime Minister's Office?

d) NITI Aayog?

11. Does the government have an estimate of the informal economy as a share of GDP?

a) 26%?

b) 40%?

c) 50%?

12. Couldn't we have done demonetisation with the earlier Income Declaration Scheme and avoided all this trouble? Why another IDS?

13. Can we know the exact amount of currency being demonetised? The ₹14.18 lakh crores figure is based on 31st March 2016 data.

14. Can we know the exact amount of money in bank branches as of 8 November 2016?

15. Can we be assured that people making genuine deposits won't be harassed just to show off the amount of black money recovered? How would you ever distinguish between the income earned but saved and black money?

The country is debating with little information at its disposal. It is for the media to ask the more important and pertinent questions so that the country can decide.

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