PM Modi’s top aide on finance doesn’t rule out another note ban

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One of the top men advising Prime Minister Narendra Modi on economy is Rajiv Kumar, India’s planning body, NITI Aayog chief. Only two days ago, the man had courted a huge controversy when he sensationally blamed the former Reserve Bank of India Governor, Raghuram Rajan, for the country’s economic mess.

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Speaking to ANI, Kumar controversially said, “It is a continuation of a trend of a declining growth, and why was this growth declining, it was declining because of the rising NPAs in the banking sector.

“When this (NDA) government came into office that figure was 4 lakh crore, it rose to 10.5 lakh crore by the middle of 2017 because under the previous RBI governor, Mr. Rajan, they had identified mechanisms to identify stressed and non-performing assets which is why the banks stopped giving credit to industries.”

His comments had sent Twitter users into frenzy as memes and jokes ridiculing Kumar flooded the social media platforms. Two days later, the NITI Aayog vice chairman has dropped a bombshell by saying that he would advise in favour of note ban once again.

He told NDTV, “I would do it any day to cleanse my economy, to formalise it, (and) to improve tax compliance behaviour,”

Kumar, controversial character, defended demonetisation, arguing that the scheme was not a failure, and that he supported it on “moral grounds.”

Adding that he supported the move from 2007-08, as a means to ‘drain the swamp’. “It (notes ban) was needed to reintroduce probity, integrity in our social and economic system,” he told NDTV.

Incidentally, the RBI’s own recent annual report had conclusively that the Modi’s demonetisation had failed spectacularly as it failed to curb the black money allegedly in circulation market. The RBI had said that 99.3% demonetised currency in circulation had returned to banks. It said that prior to the note ban announcement, Rs 15,417.93 worth currency was in circulation. After the demonetisation move Rs 15,310.73 had returned to banks -almost all of it.

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