In his persistent attack on the union government over the economy, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi released his second video on Thursday and alleged that demonetisation was an attack on India’s poor — farmers, labourers, small shopkeepers — the unorganised sector.
Gandhi said “demonetisation did not erase the black money as it was claimed by the Prime Minister and it did not benefit the poor. The advantage was given to India’s biggest billionaires”.
In a video, Rahul sought to explain his contention, and said: “The money that you had in your pockets, that you had in your homes was taken and used by the government to waive off the debts of these people.
“Demonetisation was to wipe out cash from the system and due to this informal sector has suffered because the unorganised economy runs on cash. Whether it is a small shopkeeper, farmer or labourer, he or she works with cash.
“The second goal of demonetisation aimed to wipe out cash from the system, including from the informal or unorganised sectors. The Prime Minister himself said that he wanted a cashless India, a cashless Hindustan,” said Rahul.
“In cashless India, the informal sector will be destroyed. And the farmers, labourers, small shopkeepers, small and medium businesses, who were dependent on cash, cannot live without cash,” the congress leader added.
The Congress on Monday had attacked the Centre soon after the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) plunged to (-) 23.9 per cent during the first quarter of the financial year 2020-21 saying the “fake narrative” had exploded.
“The CSO has released the provisional estimates of GDP for the quarter April-June 2020. And the GDP in the first quarter has declined by a whopping 23.9 per cent,” said former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram addressing a virtual press conference.
“It means, about one quarter of the gross domestic output as on June 30 has been wiped out in the last 12 months. Another way of looking at it is, since the end of 2019-20, the gross domestic output has fallen by about 20 per cent,” he added.
Taking a swipe at the government, Chidambaram added: “The Finance Minister who blamed an ‘Act of God’ for the economic decline should be grateful to the farmers and the gods who blessed the farmers. As the only sectors that have grown at 3.4 per cent are Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery.”