Currency situation will improve slowly after Dec 30: PM Modi


DEESA/AHMEDABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear on Saturday that the post-demonetisation path to normalcy will be gradual and slow even after the 50 days that he had sought to deal with hardships end on December 30.
Modi seemed to be preparing public opinion for continued demonetisation pangs, even as he said the situation will improve. “…Lekin pachas din ke baad maine hisab lagaya hai ki dheere, dheere, kar ke pehle jaisi sthithi ki taraf aage badhenge (After 50 days, I have calculated, we will slowly, slowly, move towards what the situation was earlier),” he said.
Speaking in Goa on November 13, Modi had asked people to bear with the fallout of demonetisation for 50 days till December 30. “Maine desh se pachas din mange hai… Agar 30 December ke baad meri kami reh jaye, koi meri galti nikal jaye, koi galat irada nikal jaye, aap mujhe chaurahe mein khada karenge… khada ho ke desh jo saza kahega wo saza bhugatne ko tayyar hoon (I have asked for 50 days from the nation. If after December 30, I am found wanting, am guilty of error or wrong intentions, I am ready for any punishment the country will pronounce),” Modi had said in Goa.
The recalibration seems intended to create more wiggle room for the government and move away from the impression that all banking and financial operations will return to normalcy by the year-end. PM Modi’s announcement on Saturday that the postdemonetisation path to normalcy will be gradual suggests that some restrictions on the banking and financial system could continue after the deadline to deposit old notes, which ends on December 30. It also suggests that the government feels it may take longer to replace the Rs 15.7 lakh crore, or 86% of currency , that was sucked out of circulation.
Aware that full replacement is not viable, the PM has pushed hard to promote digital transactions and finance minister Arun Jaitley has said that not all the scrapped currency needs to be put back in the circulation. Indicating that a longer haul lay ahead, Modi said the demonetisation decision was not an ordinary one and he had warned of hardship. But he justified the decision as being in favour of the common man, pointing out that “I have increased the value of the 100 rupee note” and that the move was essential to tackle black money menace.
Modi also took aim at the opposition for deadlock in Parliament and said while the government was ready to discuss the issue, he was not being allowed to speak. “I am not being allowed to speak in the Lok Sabha, so I am speaking in jan sabha (public meeting). When I will get a chance, I will take the sentiment of 1.25 crore Indians to Parliament as well,” said Modi, adding that even President Mukherjee had expressed anguish over the logjam.
Presenting himself as the `son of the soil’, Modi made an all-out attempt to build a positive sentiment around demonetisa tion on his home ground in north Gujarat by claiming that while the common man had indeed faced some hardships, the move had broken the backbone of naxals and terrorists besides the corrupt.
Modi, on his fifth visit to Gujarat in the past four months, inaugurated a cheese and whey drying plants at Banas Dairy and launched two new products -Banas Honey and `Amul Deshi A2′ cow milk.
Modi trained his guns on the opposition for trying to whip up negative sentiments over demonetisation, saying honest citizens of the country stood by him. “No opposition party has dared to ask for rollback of demonetisation. They are only insisting on proper implementation. I urge the opposition to train people in banking and electronic means of payments.”