Terming the Modi government as the world's "most anti-intellectual" for questioning experts on GDP figures, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday affirmed that the economy will recover in the next 12-18 months from the "devastating" impact of demonetisation.
"It (the government) even thinks that Amartya Sen, professor at Harvard is undeserving of any respect. It thinks that Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard are all useless," he said.
Speaking at a seminar on "Untold Stories of Demonetisation - Its impact on Indian Economy", organised by AICC, the senior Congress leader was critical of the government's criticism of noted economists like Nobel laureate Amartya Sen for questioning government's growth data post-demonetisation.
"We have the most anti-intellectual government in the world," he said. Citing government data, he said going by the Gross Value Addition (GVA) figures it is clear that the economy has slowed down and the Q4 data of national income will further confirm that the economy has been hit "very very badly" by note ban.
"It is clear from government's GVA data that the economy is in a clear declining trend... It is important that we understand that the devastating effect of demonetisation has interrupted India's economy story. It was an unnecessary interruption. "To recover from this interruption, in my assessment, it will take between 12 and 18 months to recover. So you will see this impact into 2017-18 and may be right up to the end of 2017-18," Chidamabaram said.
He said demonetisation was done not on recommendation of the Reserve Bank of India to the government but on the "diktat" of Government of India to RBI. "Every procedure and every norm was violated in taking this decision and announcing it," he said. He also said that the objectives behind demonetisation like curbing black money, corruption and counterfeit currency, have not been achieved and the move has been a failure.