November 16, 2016
Demonetisation: Mamata Banerjee submits memorandum to the President
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today submitted a memrandum to the President of India to protest against the problems caused to people over the government’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.
Trinamool along with leaders of the National Conference and Aam Aadmi Party, Shiv Sena and PNS met President Pranab Mukherjee today.
Addressing the media outside Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mamata Banerjee took a dig at the Centre’s alleged mismanagement over cash crunch saying, “Initially ATM meant “All Time Money” now it is “Aayega tab milega”.
While apprising the reporters about their meet with the President, the Trinamool Congress Chairperson said, “We have requested the President to speak to the government and bring back normalcy in the country.”
She hoped President Pranab, who served as the finance minister in the past, will take appropriate step.
“This is not financial emergency, this is financial calamity. Centre has taken a Tughlaqi decision without planning. Farmers don’t have money, people are dying & Govt is protecting people with black money,” Didi said.
“Trinamool Congress will move adjournment motion in Lok Sabha against demonetisation,” she said.
নোট বাতিল ইস্যুতে রাষ্ট্রপতিকে স্মারকলিপি জমা দিলেন মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়
কেন্দ্রীয় সরকারের ৫০০ ও ১০০০ টাকার নোট বাতিলের এই হঠকারী সিদ্ধান্ত প্রত্যাহারের দাবি জানিয়ে আজ রাষ্ট্রপতির কাছে একটি স্মারকলিপি জমা দিলেন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়।
এদিন তৃণমূল কংগ্রেসের সঙ্গে ন্যাশনাল কনফারেন্স, আম আদমি পার্টি, শিব সেনা এবং পি এন এস এই দলগুলিও রাষ্ট্রপতির সঙ্গে দেখা করেন।
রাষ্ট্রপতি ভবনের বাইরে বেরিয়ে সাংবাদিকদের মুখোমুখি হয়ে মুখ্যমন্ত্রী বলেন, কেন্দ্রীয় সরকারেরএই হঠকারী সিদ্ধান্তের ফলে সাধারণ মানুষ জেরবার, এই সিদ্ধান্তের বিরোধিতা করছে তৃণমূল। আগে এটি এমের মানে ছিল ‘অল টাইম মানি’, এখন মানে বদলে হয়েছে ‘আয়েগা তাব মিলেগা’।
তিনি আরও বলেন, কেন্দ্রীয় সরকারের সঙ্গে কথা বলে স্বাভাবিক অবস্থা ফিরিয়ে আনার জন্য আমরা রাষ্ট্রপতিকে অনুরোধ করেছি।
তাঁর আশা পূর্বতন অর্থমন্ত্রী হওয়ার দরুন রাষ্ট্রপতি দেশের অর্থনৈতিক অবস্থা জানেন এবং তিনি নিশ্চয়ই এ ব্যাপারে কোন ব্যবস্থা নেবেন।
তাঁর কথায়, দেশে অর্থনৈতিক বিপর্যয় চলছে, মানুষের স্বার্থের কথা ভাবছে না কেন্দ্রীয় সরকার। পরিকল্পনা না করেই তুঘলকি সিদ্ধান্ত নিয়েছে কেন্দ্রীয় সরকার।
তিনি আরও জানান, নোট বাতিল ইস্যুকে কেন্দ্র করে লোকসভায় মুলতুবি প্রস্তাব আনবে তৃণমূল।
FULL TEXT OF THE MEMORANDUM TO THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA
You would kindly appreciate that the nation has been thrown into total chaos and manmade disaster by the sudden and ill-conceived policy announcement of demonetization of notes of Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000/- by the Central Government on the evening of 8th November, 2016.
It is most painful for is to state that the brunt of this unplanned, anarchic and unilateral measure, without giving ant breathing space, is being borne by the poorest and common people of India – farmers, workers of formal and informal sectors, small and tiny businesses, small trading communities, housewives, students, young generation and the middle-class of India.
I appeal to you on behalf of the toiling masses, those who eke out a living by trading in small goods and services and those from villages of India, to use your highest office and stop this financial chaos and insecurity and protect them from a situation which is more than an unannounced ‘financial emergency’.
The denotified currencies were 86% of total volume of cash in India. Financial sector reforms have made little progress in the fields of banking and payments. As a result, currency notes dominate transactions in the country. Moreover, the share of electronic transactions in India is the lowest in the world. Whereas size of cash relative to GDP is the highest in India, so 86% decline in cash is bound to adversely impact upon the economy.
It is estimated that only a little over half of India’s population have access to banking services. What will the fate of the other half of India’s population who cannot go to a bank to exchange their Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000/- notes to run their daily lives to fight hunger?
May we add that the most economists have already voiced their concerns that sudden demonetization move will trigger a deep recession which can emasculate the majority of common people of our nation. It is contributing towards sharp reduction of output of the economy over each disrupted day due to lowering of production. Already a staggering Rs 2 lakh Crore of GDP is reported to be lost in only 8 days.
We are deeply concerned about the plight of the farmers across who were just about to purchase inputs to sow their seeds of livelihood. We are hearing panic stricken voices of farmers, small and marginal and farm labour as well, from all over India who are preparing for the Rabi season. They have no cash to buy seeds, fertilizer and diesel for the next crop due to demonetization and this may precipitate widespread hunger in the countryside in the months ahead.
Another crisis has been precipitated in the plantations, small-scale industries and among small and medium traders. Nearly 1 crore tea-garden workers receive salaries in cash on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Unfortunately, gardens had no cash to pay the workers leading to starvation of 4-5 crore people in our country. Same is the situation with jute workers, beedi workers and workers associated with small scale industries and trading activities, workers of unorganized sectors, agricultural workers, transport workers and daily labourers and workers under 100 days’ scheme. They are also facing severe wage-earning problems.
You will kindly appreciate that in the agricultural sector, the farmers are not beign able to purchase seeds from small traders due to scourge of demonetization. If the seeds are not sown in time, the farmers will be in a state of crisis just as the small traders who are facing a liquidity crunch. Any further delay will severely affect agricultural production next year and thereby the livelihood of our farmers. Cooperative, where rural people have accounts, have been kept outside the purview of exemotions extended for dealing with demonetised currencies. This is further adding to their sufferings.
Transportation of goods has come to a grinding halt. Essential commodities including vegrtables and perishable items are getting stacked up and not reaching the markets as transporters, lorry drivers and other people associated with the sector are facing acute liquidity crisis.
Healthcare sectory is badly affected as no exemption has been extended to patients in private hospitals, nursing homes or for purchase of non-prescription medicines, thus posing serious inconvenience to the suffering people.
With whatever little money the common people have, they are queuing up over long hours in front of banks and ATMs to exchange cancelled notes or deposit them in their accounts, but are mostly returning empty-handed or with a few Rs 2,000 denomination notes, which they are finding even more difficult to encash in the market to meet up their daily needs. Many ATMs are closed as they are under-equipped to handle delivery of newly introduced currency notes of Rs 2,000. Currencies of Rs 100 and Rs 50 are in remarkable short supply. People are frantically moving from ATM to ATM to draw some cash for their basic needs and are only ending the day in frustration and helplessness. In the daily markets, unprecedented bandh-like situation is prevailing as people do not have money to buy things.
Sir, is it a just action to put people in situations of untold suffering and misery that they are facing now? Earlier when it was done, breathing time was there and people did not experience difficulties. Without taking care of situation at the ground, present Government at the centre is creating a panic situation and terrorizing the people. Instead of rollback, we are seeing that leaders of the government using impolite and unethical language to verbally intimidate the people and even insult them.
A surgical strike in the LoC few months back had elements of a mystery as we do not know the details. Similar surgical strike cannot be replicated in the economy as is being propagated. An individual is trying to crush a country like a dictator. This is totally unacceptable.
Sir, we sincerely feel that in a federal polity like ours, the Central Government should have discussed a multi-dimensional plan with the States for attacking black money. The plan should have included instruments for destroying the machinery that generates black money in the country. Such a collaborative discussion and approach could have surfaced many ideas to simultaneously address the issues of corruption and black money in the country. Unfortunately, no such effort was made by the Central Government at any time, in violation of the spirit of federalism.
You are well aware that one of the major components of black money is the money parked in international tax havens and in some nations. We recall hearing the Prime Minister during his election campaign that when he comes to office he will bring back the money from abroad and such would be the volume that Rs 15 lakh would be put into the bank accounts of every citizen of India. Unfortunately, this promise has not seen the light of day and some paltry sum has come in which doesn’t even merit mention. Moreover, the Government has not taken any worthwhile step to recover crores and crores of money outstanding from large borrowers, which is now being reflected as NPA in bank records. Thus, the present gimmick is just an eyewash to distract people from their failures.
Researchers have said that the black money machine lies embedded in the flawed governance structures of the country which promotes corruption. Therefore, unless the economic machine that produces black money is attacked head on, this ill-planned measure will not yield results. The Central Government has not yet discussed with the States this particular matter of black money generation and strategies to tackle this menace.
We strongly condemn black money, counterfeit currency and financial terrorism including terrorism of all forms. But we also believe that proper planning and confidence-building with the States are very important before eliminating any sort of large-scale measure like this one to eliminate them from our economy.
As we said earlier, electronic transaction in our country is very little. The so-called “plastic money” concept of the ruling party all of a sudden is a blow to the poor, low and middle-class, young generation, housewives, agricultural workers, small and medium industry workers, unorganised sector workers, plantation workers and the like, who form the backbone of India’s economy and have very little access to “plastic money”. Thus, it is a calculated move to restrict circulation of money among this vulnerable section of society and thereby destroy the country’s economy and social security.
Sir, there was no consultation in Parliament or with the State Chief Ministers. Elected government can take policy decisions according to the constitutional obligations. But if a political party starts running the country by ruining the economy on its own agenda, destroying its political stability, imposing emergency-like situation, do you think it is proper? The present government at the centre is showing a dictatorial attitude. In a democratic setup, government comes and goes, but basic processes of consultation, consensus-building and confidence-generating, taking all other entities in consideration, continue. This is a beauty in our system, and that is why our country is such a great country. No individual should try to disregard the great of our country.
Interestingly, as per media reports, many banks have posted an increase in deposits in the second quarter of the current financial year compared to corresponding quarter of the previous financial year. Now, several questions are being raised that whether some people knew about it beforehand and thus could push in their hoarded money into deposits, as because there being hardly any upturn in the economy, the sudden growth in deposits remains largely a mystery.
In fact, the entire step of demonetisation is a black scam. We demand that a proper investigation be made to identify the perpetrators of this scam. We also demand that those responsible for loss of mandays and loss of GDP be made to make good the losses. It should not be passed on to the common people to bear the burden for no fault of their own.
Sir, as a custodian of the Constitution of the country, we seek your kind intervention on the following to save the country from the present ‘financial emergency’-like situation, which is deteriorating every moment.
- Suspend immediately the dictatorial and draconian step of demonetisation.
- Give time to implement a planned strategy of attacking black money, counterfeit currency and terrorism of all sorts.
- Issue suitable directions to ensure adequate supply of money of different denominations in the market immediately.
- Stop harassment of the common people by lifting of all sorts of restrictions recently thrust upon them.
- Ensure that supply of essential commodities in adequate quantities be restored in the markets forthwith.
- Advice regarding drafting of a proper plan of recovering black money stacked in the country as well as in foreign countries immediately, taking the states in confidence.
We once again appeal to your kind self to make necessary intervention in the interest of common people to alleviate the untold suffering, helplessness and financial insecurity that they are facing now, and withdraw this draconian demonetisation measure immediately.
We are committed towards extending all cooperation to the Central Government to weed out black money, thwart terrorism and eliminate circulation of counterfeit currency, provided they do things with proper planning and suitably involving the states as per the true spirit of federalism.