Posted On December 16, 2016 By In Nation And 250 Views

‘This Is Not Manmohan Singh Era,’ Said Amit Shah On Notes Ban

NEW DELHI:  As senior BJP leaders reported that the notes ban could take big chunks out of the goodwill the party enjoys, boss Amit Shah reportedly shot back: “This is not the government of Manmohan Singh or Narasimha Rao that people sit from 7 am morning till 7 pm in the evening to make small changes or bring in minor reforms. This government is about making fundamental changes.” Mr Shah, who is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s closest confidante, then told yesterday’s gathering of the party’s office-bearers that “To change the country, sometimes tough decisions are taken. There are senior people in the government who have taken the decision after careful consideration. Now, it is the job of every person sitting here to convey the benefits of this decision to the people.” The BJP chief’s plain-speak was allegedly in response to subtle complaints that PM Modi’s abrupt decision to cancel 500- and 1,000-rupee notes on November 8 could have been executed more smoothly if a wider group of experts had been consulted- a charge also levelled by the opposition. This morning, he addressed BJP lawmakers (the PM was present too) and asked them to spend a week in their constituencies to explain the benefits of the notes ban. Since then, banks have been over-run with customers desperate for the new currency that is being introduced.  ATM machines run dry too often and too quickly.  Rural India, cut off from formal banking, is particularly troubled. But the PM’s intent has been largely praised- he believes demonetisation will flush out black money and that the cash shortage, which he has pledged to resolve in “just 50 days” (by the end of the year), will steer India towards digital transactions.  BJP leaders reportedly conveyed to Mr Shah that the PM’s approval markers among the public remain high, but that the government must ensure that the cash shortage is removed urgently, especially because the key state of Uttar Pradesh votes early next year. The notes that were cancelled formed 86 per cent of those in circulation. And nearly 90 per cent of them have now been returned to banks which has critics declaring that the attempt to force those with black money to declare it and face penalties has failed.

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