Former prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has launched a tirade against the central government led by Narendra Modi for his demonetisation announcement, calling it a ‘mammoth tragedy.’
Writing for The Hindu newspaper, Dr Singh said, “Cash is the bedrock of the lives of these people. Their daily subsistence depends on their cash being accepted as a medium of valid currency. They save their money in cash which, as it grows, is stored in denominations of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes. To tarnish these as ‘black money’ and throw the lives of these hundreds of millions of poor people in disarray is a mammoth tragedy.”
Singh also added that the decision to ban note by Modi was a ‘travesty’ of ‘fundamental duty.’
He wrote, “The vast majority of Indians earn in cash, transact in cash and save in cash, all legitimately. It is the fundamental duty of a democratically elected government in any sovereign nation to protect the rights and livelihood of its citizens. The recent decision by the Prime Minister is a travesty of this fundamental duty.”
He added, “It is heartbreaking to see and hear of millions of poor Indians standing in long lines to withdraw some money for basic sustenance. As someone who has experienced long lines for rationed food during war time, I never imagined that one day I would find my own countrymen and women waiting endlessly for rationed money. That all of this suffering is due to one hasty decision makes it even more disconcerting.”
The former prime minister also warned that the macroeconomic impact of this decision of the government is likely to be hazardous.
The stinging attack by Singh, a renowned economist and the architect of economic liberalisation if India, comes just days after he attacked Modi in Rajya Sabha calling demonetisation a monumental mismanagament.