Manmohan Singh calls demonetisation ‘organised loot,’ makes Jaitley angry


Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday reacted angrily to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling demonetisation an “organised loot”, insisting the exercise was an “ethical drive and a moral step” that made corruption difficult.

While addressing traders, businessmen and others in Ahmedabad on Tuesday Singh said, ” 8 November was a ‘Black Day’ for our economy and indeed our democracy. I remember feeling shocked when I heard the Prime Minister’s (Narendra Modi’s) announcement and I wondered who advised him to inflict such a reckless step on our nation, and whether any considered thought went into it.”

Repeating his earlier that the note ban was an organised loot, Dr Singh said, “Demonetisation has proved to be mere bluster to reap political dividends while the real offenders have escaped. I repeat it was organised loot and legalised plunder.”

Jaitley hit back on Tuesday saying that the loot was what happened in 2G scam, commonwealth games and allocation of coal blocks, whereas demonetisation was an economic exercise based on ethical and moral rationales, Jaitley told reporters here.

“An anti-black money drive is (an) ethical drive, a moral step. And what is moraly and ethically correct has to be politically correct,” Jaitley was quoted by PTI.

Calling the note ban a “reckless” exercise, Manmohan Singh said during an interactive session with businessmen and traders in Ahmedabad that “demonetisation was an organised loot and legalised plunder”.

A united opposition has decided to mark 8 November as the Black Day while the BJP government plans to commemorate the day as the anti-black money day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 November last year had declared Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes illegal. The move slowed down the economy by 2 percent causing the economy a loss of over Rs 2 lakh crore, according to a conservative estimate.