Written By Dr. Kuldeep Singh
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Parliament has criticized the Narendra Modi government over its surprise move to demonetize 500 and 1,000 currency notes. In uncharacteristically strong words, the mild-mannered Singh called demonetization “organised loot and legalized plunder,” adding that it was a “monumental management failure.”
Dismissing the government’s defense that in the long run demonetization would be good for the country, Singh said, “For those saying this is good in the long run, it reminds me of John Keynes’ words, ‘In the long run we are all dead‘.
After taking repeated digs at the Centre over demonetization, allied partner Shiv Sena Chief Udhav Thackery has also wisely dubbed the move of demonetization as “extortion of common man” and asked the BJP to take former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s words on the issue seriously as it came from a “renowned economist”.
Inexperienced in running country, the speech of Manmohan Singh was dubbed as short vision officially and in social media as well by blind followers.
What is the outcome out of this demonetization? Government has done a massive theft of people’s property, a shocking move for democratically elected government, says Steve Forbes.
In a sharp attack on Indian government’s demonetisation move, Steve Forbes, the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine has gone all out and said, what they have done to the money is ‘sickening and immoral.
In an article written by Forbes in the magazine, he wrote about the government’s decision and called it a ‘massive theft of people’s property’. Forbes called the Indian bureaucracy to be ‘notorious’ for corruption, red tape and lethargy. In the article,
Forbes has given an overview on how the demonetisation move was carried out by the Indian government; about the cash crunch, ATM queues, killing of people in line, pregnant women delivering baby in line, and the increase in governmental control over lives.
Forbes even went on to compare the decision with former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s infamous sterilisation program in the 1970’s, calling it Nazi-like eugenics. Forbes wrote: “Not since India’s short-lived forced-sterilization program in the 1970s–this bout of Nazi-like eugenics was instituted to deal with the country’s “overpopulation”–has the government engaged in something so immoral.”
Forbes has criticized most of the narratives which the government has been using to support the demonetization move. He also wrote about how businesses are closing as companies are not able to pay their employees.
Forbes also condemned the excessive rules and taxes imposed by the Indian government, which he says is the reason of the informal operation of a cash-based economy. On the issue of terrorism, Forbes said that just a currency change cannot stop terrorists from committing evil acts of terror. On the issue of digitization, he said that it will happen in a free market one way or the other, but it needs time.
Forbes suggested that India should get rid of such a complex tax system, which is the main reason for tax evasion. Forbes suggestion for India is, “…slash income and business tax rates and simplify the whole tax structure; make the rupee as powerful as the Swiss franc; hack away at regulations…”
Forbes lambasted the countries which have been making similar moves like demonetization by using the reasons provided by the Indian government. He said that such a move is only about making the government have more control over personal lives.
He wrote: “India is the most extreme and destructive example of the anti-cash fad currently sweeping governments and the economics profession.” He added that India, apart from immorally harming its own people, has also set a bad example for the rest of the world.