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Common man to be highly affected by demonetisation of currency: P Chidambaram

P Chidambaram Criticised The Demonetisation Of Currency While Claiming That People Were Facing Huge Problems While Purchasing Medicines, Grocery Items And Other Essential Products.

PTI | Updated on: 12 Nov 2016, 06:26:04 PM
Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram claimed demonetisation will affect the common man (Image Source: PTI)


Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday criticised the government’s claim demonetisation of higher value currency notes will be helpful in curtailing black money. He stressed that this move will only affect the common man.

The senior Congress leader said people were facing difficulties in purchasing medicines, buying bus and train tickets and paying for auto-rickshaws because most of the notes in circulation were of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations.

"They (government) say withdrawal of notes that are highly in circulation will not affect the common man. That is quite a funny statement," he said.

"It is not a step to curb black money... The Centre's move will only affect the public and that is my view," he told reporters here.

Watch video: Congress divided on demonetsation, Chidambram condemns but Janardan Dwivedi hails move

Chidambaram said that in 2012, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had advised the Centre to avoid issuing Rs 2,000 currency notes, saying it would bring more harm to the public than benefit.

"Ignoring it, the Centre has withdrawn Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that are highly in circulation," he added.

The former Union Minister further said that 86 per cent of the total value of currency notes in circulation was in the denomination of Rs 500 or Rs 1,000.

Chidambaram said there were currency notes worth about Rs 17 lakh crore in circulation across the country, and according to the RBI, about Rs 400 crore of this was believed to be fake currency.

Also Read: Govt had demonetised high-value currency in 1978 but it failed, says P Chidambaram

"Just to destroy Rs 400-crore fake currencies, why the circulation of total Rs 17 lakh crore was needed to be blocked," he asked.

On criticism by the BJP that Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi standing in a queue to exchange notes was just a 'photo opportunity', he said, "What can he do? How can a person live with a currency that is invalid? That is why he went to exchange Rs 4,000 (to the bank)."

"I do not know whether the valid notes were exchanged in the houses of the respective ministers. For rest of the people, one has to visit the bank for exchange of notes," he said.

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First Published : 12 Nov 2016, 06:15:00 PM