Saturday, November 12, 2016

Narendra Modi's many objectives behind demonetizing 500, 1000 rupee notes [COMPACTIDEA]

  1. Improve image in public. He created a splash by branding and packaging this as "kill black money" and "kill terror finance" and "kill fake currency notes". Most Facebook-savvy clueless urban Indians are blindly praising Modi for this move, uncritically assuming his altruistic intentions and not thinking about his other, undeclared, nefarious objectives [see below].
    1. Squeeze opposition parties’ funds. Sort of financial asphyxia. Win upcoming state elections.
    2. So many news stories are detailing how BJP itself did massive cash deposits of 500/1000 notes in various banks on various days before Modi'a public announcement. They knew about this in advance and took advantage to save their own truckloads of black money.
    3. Government coffers will rise via increased tax inflow and this extra taxpayer money can now be merrily looted by government officials via overpriced tenders, unneeded maintenance/repairs, making new roads where there already are good roads, etc. Obviously the increase in tax inflows will not improve the lives of the Indian public. As always, the ministers/politicians will collaborate with the Adanis and the Ambanis and leech out this extra money and not let it reach the people. So why pay any taxes when you're not going to receive any benefits? [link 1] [link 2]
      1. Old currency notes not deposited will result in reduced liability for RBI and another windfall for the government. The government will, as always, use this gold rush for its own enrichment. The public be damned.
      2. Government is conducting raids, etc., and any so-called "black money" found is being almost completely taken away [30% tax and 200% penalty on this and 12% interest and 3% cess, etc.]. Again, this is yet another windfall for the government and the "babus" will see their cupboards filling with people's hard-earned money.
    4. Narendra Modi's government isn't concerned that India's huge, cash-based parallel economy perhaps protects India from external/international financial shocks. This government also isn't concerned that most non-urban Indians do not have or use bank accounts, digital wallets, credit/debit cards, etc., and use cash directly. The hassles these folks are facing now are unimaginable, but politicians are laughing in their air-conditioned rooms. This government also isn't bothered that the exponential growth in usage of credit/debit cards will result in a windfall for AmEx/Discover/MasterCard/VISA, thus sending "our" money out.
      1. Further, talking of "parallel" economy, this demonetisation move could've been done to bring more of the "black GDP" into the formal, measurable economy. So there might not be any actual growth in GDP, but because hidden/unmeasurable activities get converted into measurable, formal activities, there will be an illusion of GDP growth, thus reaping political windfall for Narendra Modi.
    5. This move has created huge pains for the poor and the almost-poor folks, who were already struggling each day to make ends meet. They now have to stand for hours in lines/queues to withdraw [or deposit] cash, while the PM snores loudly in his air-conditioned cabin, even as people die [another link], or are now out of job because of shortage of currency, or starve or cry or complain. He doesn't care one iota. And let us not forget that his crony friends won't be affected by this [contrary to the spin done by the his government].
  2. Raising value of Indian rupee versus US dollar [scarce rupee will rise in value].
  3. Kill overseas as well as domestic terrorism financing, thus reducing oxygen supply of terrorists.
  4. Back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the banking system might/could absorb all of the high-value currency notes, and then some more. If there are 25 crore savings accounts and 2 crore current accounts [including CC, OD, etc.], and if the deposits in the former are on average 1 lac and in the latter 5 lacs, then the total potential deposits amount to INR 35 lac crore, far more than the value of Indian currency in circulation. Of course, the now-invalid old currency will flow from person to person in order to reach the bank accounts where making deposits is possible, and this flow will have a price and those who deposit on the behalf of others will thus make some profits.
  5. In any case, "black money" will come back once the new currency notes start flowing back into the system. Who is going to stop people from once again transacting in cash and storing this black cash in their cupboards? If/when this happens, this whole exercise of demonetizing certain notes and issuing their replacements might start to look like a political stunt with nefarious objectives.
    1. Just today [24-Nov-16] I saw a person buying six drums full of diesel from a petrol pump in order to utilize INR approximately 66,000 worth of 500/1000 notes. And he repeats the same daily, I've been told. The government seems to be underestimating the determination of the common Indian man.
  6. As of 9-Dec-16, the good-for-nothing politician Narendra Modi has shrewdly shifted the goalposts, not mentioning the so-called "black money" anymore [since it's expected that nearly all of the officially issued large-denomination currency will get deposited into banks by the 30-Dec-16 deadline], and instead focusing on cashless economy and digital transactions. Classic politician!
    1. What he doesn't and probably can't understand is that digital/electronic transactions are dependent on constant availability of several national and international systems [Internet networks, mobile networks, cables, electricity, computers, and so on]. In a vast and technologically-evolving country like India, systems go down often, and shifting something as fundamental and necessary as payments to a not-fully-reliable system is not only irresponsible, it's also dangerous and should be stopped immediately.
Update [2-Jan-17]: This author has correctly and comprehensively captured Modi's disturbing psychology by analyzing Modi's words and actions [or lack thereof]. From a lack of acknowledgement of the many deaths due to demonetisation, to the omission of the previously-always-used-word "mitron", Modi's actions and words give a peek into the dark and perhaps dangerous corners of his mind.

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