Demonetization: Modi govt’s brazenness about changing rules and goalposts is shocking!

​Jayshree Shukla 

Everything this government says it dishonours. They are making a really bad habit of this.

They started with – no panic. Enough time to change and deposit notes till December 30. Do not crowd the banks. They tinkered with how much money you could exchange and then came the axe. You could not exchange notes any longer. The government of India had officially abandoned the unbanked, they who are also the poorest citizens of India.

The government started by treating the 500 and 1000 rupee notes on par and then the axe fell on the thousand rupee notes. You could not exchange them anymore. Only deposit them. Eventually, of course, all exchange of notes was stopped.

The GOI imposed unprecedented restrictions on the withdrawal of your own money from the banks. However, they did promise that you could withdraw a maximum of Rs 24,000 per week. Was this a promise they kept? Haha. Most people have had to visit the bank multiple times to get to the weekly limit. Some were given no more than Rs 1000 per visit!!

They started by telling you that this was a move against black money. But they also told you that as per Act this or that, section who cares which, formulated in the year of lord 1961, political parties were exempt from all scrutiny. The only person under scrutiny was you. Each one of you was a crook now. A thief. Unless proved otherwise.

They started by saying that deposits below Rs 2.5 lakh were beyond scrutiny. Then they decided to hound Jan Dhan account holders. Now all deposits above Rs 5000 will make you a thief unless proved otherwise.

They changed the goal posts all the time. First it was about black money until they exempted all those who had most of it and decided to chase those who had little or none. Then it was about preventing the counterfeiting of notes. But counterfeit notes arrived as soon the first new notes. They said the drive had silenced the terrorists in Kashmir, until of course they struck back with a vengeance and delivered a stinging slap on our face.

Now it is about being cashless. So we are supposed to use credit/debit cards and e-wallets. This in a country with poor internet coverage and widespread digital illiteracy. PayTm is suing someone for fraud. And from what I have heard it misfires as much as it fires. And oh. The best part is that you have zero protection from fraud. There are rumours that cash transactions will be taxed, there will be limits to how much cash you can keep at home. Speculation is also  rife that the limits on withdrawal on your own money from the bank could be longstanding if not permanent.

These are some of the U turns and outright lies I could recall off hand. I must have missed some. But it is enough to show how canibalistic this drive is. It is devouring the weakest citizens of this country, those whom the state is duty bound to protect the foremost.

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