Demonetisation was not a mistake but an attack on citizens to help big businesses, Rahul Gandhi said today, ripping into Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government.
“Notebandi is nothing less than a huge scam,” the Congress president said at a press conference a day after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in its annual report that over 99 per cent of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes banned by PM Modi in the November 2016 demonetisation have returned to the banking system.
“You apologise for a mistake, but PM Modi did this deliberately,” he said.
The central bank’s annual report says only a fraction of the currency was left out of the system after the unprecedented notes ban aimed at checking black money and corruption – an exercise that cost the government Rs 8,000 crore.
RBI’s report said of the Rs 15.41 crore worth of 500 and 1,000-rupee notes taken out of circulation, notes worth Rs 15.31 lakh crore have been returned. This means Rs 10,720 crore of the junked currency did not return to the banking system.
Demonetisation had been described by the government as a major step to curb black money, corruption and check counterfeit currency.