note demonetisation

A month after demonetisation, the government seems to be confusing all cash for black money

All cash isn't black money and very little illegal wealth is in cash.

As he announced the cancellation of the legal tender status for Rs 500 and 1,000 notes on November 8, Prime Minister Modi made it clear that black money was the prime target of the move.

This move, soon christened demonetisation, is probably the most drastic economic decision ever taken by an Indian government. Yet, even for so large a move, aimed ostensibly at black money, the Modi government didn’t even care to define what exactly black money is. After one month of demonetisation, with the government changing the aims and rules for the exercise almost daily, it seems that the government has no idea what black money even means. This makes any move to abolish it rather pointless.

All cash isn’t black money

As demonetisation progresses, the aim of the exercise is increasingly shifting to pushing digital transactions. This when the prime minister didn not even mention this goal one in his original November 8 broadcast. In its official communications, the government is now making the mistake of conflating cash and black money.

Here are two ads put out by the Modi government.

The aim of digitising the incomes of cobblers and auto rickshaw drivers is described with the hashtag #IndiaDefeatsBlackMoney. With small merchants and craftsmen rarely making it to India’s legal tax bracket of Rs 2.5 lakhs a year, it is inexplicable how these people using cash can be termed “black money”.

And all black money isn’t in cash

This isn’t all. The inverse mistake has also been made. It seems the Modi government has assumed that a significant portion of illegal wealth is stored in the form of banknotes. This is an assumption simply not backed up by data. In fact, if the people who thought up the idea of demonetisation had read the White Paper on Black Money published by the Union Ministry of Finance in 2012, they would have known that black money is expressly not stored in cash. Cash as a proportion of assets sized as part of income tax raids carried out by the Union government amounted to between 4%-7% from the years 2006 to 2012.

Yet, rather than act against real estate or other forms of storing actual illegal wealth, the Modi government targeted its smallest source: cash.

Because the very foundation of the demonetisation drive was wrong, its efforts to combat black money have been rather ineffective. The Union government expected large amounts of it not to
make it to the banking system post demonetisation. The assumption was that black money hoarders would rather throw away their cash than risk being caught. On Friday, however, the Modi government admitted in the Supreme Court that nothing of the sort has happened and deposits had already exceeded estimates the government was working with.

Given that the initial drive against black money has now almost failed, there is a frantic search to attribute other aims to the demonetisation exercise to justify the massive disruption caused in the economy and the lives of ordinary Indians, the primary one being turning India into a cashless economy.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Why should inclusion matter to companies?

It's not just about goodwill - inclusivity is a good business decision.

To reach a 50-50 workplace scenario, policies on diversity need to be paired with a culture of inclusiveness. While diversity brings equal representation in meetings, board rooms, promotions and recruitment, inclusivity helps give voice to the people who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded. Inclusion at workplace can be seen in an environment that values diverse opinions, encourages collaboration and invites people to share their ideas and perspectives. As Verna Myers, a renowned diversity advocate, puts it “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Creating a sense of belonging for everyone is essential for a company’s success. Let’s look at some of the real benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

Better decision making

A whitepaper by Cloverpop, a decision making tool, established a direct link between inclusive decision making and better business performance. The research discovered that teams that followed an inclusive decision-making process made decisions 2X faster with half the meetings and delivered 60% better results. As per Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, this report highlights how diversity and inclusion are practical tools to improve decision making in companies. According to her, changing the composition of decision making teams to include different perspectives can help individuals overcome biases that affect their decisions.

Higher job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is connected to a workplace environment that values individual ideas and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. A research by Accenture identified 40 factors that influence advancement in the workplace. An empowering work environment where employees have the freedom to be creative, innovative and themselves at work, was identified as a key driver in improving employee advancement to senior levels.


A research by stated the in India, 62% of innovation is driven by employee perceptions of inclusion. The study included responses from 1,500 employees from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico and the United States and showed that employees who feel included are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, suggest new and innovative ways of getting work done.

Competitive Advantage

Shirley Engelmeier, author of ‘Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage’, in her interview with Forbes, talks about the new global business normal. She points out that the rapidly changing customer base with different tastes and preferences need to feel represented by brands. An inclusive environment will future-proof the organisation to cater to the new global consumer language and give it a competitive edge.

An inclusive workplace ensures that no individual is disregarded because of their gender, race, disability, age or other social and cultural factors. Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equal workplace. Having won several accolades including a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate equality index, Accenture has demonstrated inclusive and diverse practices not only within its organisation but also in business relationships through their Supplier Inclusion and Diversity program.

In a video titled ‘She rises’, Accenture captures the importance of implementing diverse policies and creating an inclusive workplace culture.


To know more about inclusion and diversity, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.