23/12/2016 9:18 AM IST | Updated 23/12/2016 10:18 AM IST

'India Has Committed A Massive Theft Of People's Property': Steve Forbes On Demonetisation

A severe reality check.

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Protest against demonetisation.

In a scathing critique of the decision to demonetise high-value currency notes, Steve Forbes, the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine, has come down like a ton of bricks on the Indian government.

In an article, which is already online but appears in the 24 January 2017 print edition of the magazine, he blames the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for unleashing untold suffering on the common people by springing his decision on them without warning on 8 November 2016.

Giving an overview of all the troubles that have plagued the nation since that fateful day -- severe cash crunch, non-functioning ATMs, serpentine queues at banks and mounting distress among the people -- he goes on to compare the move with former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's infamous sterilisation drive.

"Not since India's short-lived forced-sterilization program in the 1970s -- this bout of Nazi-like eugenics was instituted to deal with the country's 'overpopulation' -- has the government engaged in something so immoral," Forbes writes.

While the government claims the move towards a cashless economy will flush out terrorism, curb tax evasion and stem the flow of black money, in reality it has ended up compromising people's privacy, freedom of choice and given the state unprecedented control over their lives.

The more effective economic reform, Forbes suggests, would be to have a simpler taxation system and to create conditions to ease business operations.

Read the full article here.

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