Former BJP member adds note ban was largest money-laundering scheme ever rolled out by a govt.
Mumbai: Arun Shourie, who was cabinet minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government from 1998 to 2004, on Tuesday slammed Narendra Modi's dispensation for rolling out misplaced policy decisions. In an interview to NDTV, Shourie blamed demonetisation and the goods and services tax, GST, for economic slowdown.
He came down heavily on the Modi government that scrapped overnight Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes on November 8 last year, he said, "It was the largest money-laundering scheme ever, conceived and implemented entirely by the government," Shourie told NDTV. It was an idiotic jolt and everyone who had black money got a chance to convert it into white, he went on to say.
While raising certain questions over government's claim that notes recall decision was taken to curb black money, Shourie said the un-taxed or unaccounted money was not destroyed even after note ban as, according to him, RBI has said 99 per cent of scrapped currency has come back to the banking system.
He, however, believed the GST was an important and the much needed reform but very poorly implemented by this government. "The rules have been amended seven times within three months," he explained while taking a dig at the "event management" of GST and comparison of new indirect tax regime with India's independence. It may be noted GST was rolled out through a midnight session of the parliament on July 1.
Shourie was not the only national leader who has spoken out against note ban. Former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has earlier said demonetisation was biggest scam of the 21st century. Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had said note ban would impact GDP growth that will go down by 2 per cent.