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Demonetisation: The worst is yet to come, says former PM Manmohan Singh

Singh expressed concerns over India's declining GDP and said the decision to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was disastrous.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said demonetisation had hurt the country very badly, and warned that the worst is yet to come, PTI reported. Fearing a decline in the country’s Gross Domestic Product, Singh said, “We can imagine that what kind of a disaster demonetisation is.” Singh was speaking at Jan Vedna Sammelan in New Delhi where other senior Congress leaders were also present.

“Modi keeps saying he will transform India’s economy, but we know now that the beginning of the end has come...but the worst is yet to come,” Singh said according to India Today. He said Modi’s claims of national income having gone up in the last two years were “hollow”.

Meanwhile, former Finance Minister P Chidamabaram claimed there was no record of the Cabinet meeting of November 8 where the government is believed to have decided to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, ANI reported. He also claimed that ministers were kept like “prisoners” till the prime minister announced the decision on the night of November 8. He criticised Modi for trying to promote a cashless society and said, “It is my choice to use cash or card”.

He said Modi had promised on November 8 to put an end to black money, corruption and fake currency. “None of the objectives were achieved. The prime minister has just inflicted misery on crores of people in the country,” he said. Chidambaram too expressed concerns over the declining GDP. “Except for the Finance Minister [Arun Jaitley], no one in the world says that GDP won’t be hit,” he said.

At the convention the party also issued a statement that Modi must reveal what percentage of the demonetised currency notes was black money. “The PM is masquerading as a crusader against black money and corruption after having singularly failed in fulfilling his promises of retrieving the unaccounted wealth and money stashed abroad,” the statement read according to PTI.

In a bid to tackle black money, counterfeiting and corruption, Modi on November 8 had announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would no longer remain legal tender. Since then, the country has faced a cash crunch with lack of Rs 100 notes in the ATMs as well as the banks. The Modi government has since then tried to promote cashless transactions in the country. On November 24, Manmohan Singh while speaking in the Rajya Sabha had termed the demonetisation drive a “monumental management failure”.

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