Come elections & everybody turns a political pundit, come the cricket world cup & everybody turns a selector…similarly, since the demonetization we’ve seen numerous ‘economists’ crop up like weeds in a flowery field. We can’t expect logical arguments from them as they aren’t versed in economics. But what’s sad to see is how politicians & journalists have peddled lies to create fear & mislead people with respect to the demonetization.
The most recent incident involved journalist Suhasini Haider of The Hindu who twisted the statement of the left-leaning foreign minister of Greece into an anti-demonetisation statement. The Greek Embassy later went on to rebuke the newspaper for deliberately misquoting its foreign minister’s words. This is not a one-off incident of purposeful lies propagated by the media.
As far as politicians are concerned we see that from Mamata Banerjee to Arvind Kejriwal, from Mayawati to Yechury…all & many others have put massive efforts in creating an anti-demonetisation ‘wave’. But fortunately have failed miserably till now.
These people’s understanding of economics is slight, so one may excuse them for their pure political comments. But when the Former Finance Minister Chidambaram makes an ignorant statement, it does make you wonder whether he really had the economic sense to manage the finances of the country like he did for so many years? Or was he too deliberately distorting facts?
He said in his tweet on the 4th of December –
There is a Rs. 13,860 crore hole in the Rs. 65,000 crore IDS! How many more holes?
In other words he claimed that Rs. 13,860 crore out of the Rs. 65,000 crore didn’t exist at all. But this is not the case.
The Ministry of Finance, in a press release clearly stated the following –
- After final reconciliation the revised figure of declarations received & taken on record was Rs. 67,382 crore which had been made by 71,726 declarants. (This was the Rs. 65,000 crore odd figure which Chidambaram was referring to)
- Two sets of declarations of high value were not taken on record in the above figure because these declarations were found to be suspicious in nature being filed by persons of small means:
- First by Mr. Abdul Razzaque Mohammed Sayed & family who filed a total declaration of Rs. Two Lakh Crore (Rs. 2,00,000 crore).
- Second by Mr. Mahesh Kumar Champaklal Shah for an amount of Rs. Thirteen Thousand Eight Hundred & Sixty Crore (Rs. 13,860 crore).
The release also stated that these two declarations were investigated & later rejected as they were suspicious. This implies that Rs. 13,860 crore were not included in the Rs. 65,000-odd figure that Chidambaram was quoting!
So the Rs. 65,000 crore figure has no holes as Chidambaram claimed. This amount was fully declared by the public till the 30th of September & the government did not twist it in any way. It is appalling to see that the former finance minister of the country is spreading lies on social media just because it suits his political interests.