It seems as if post-midnight of 8th November 2016; all of a sudden, Indian streets have become the most favourite place to hang out. Long queues could be witnessed at places where the old high denomination currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 are either being accepted, changed or deposited. So much of chaos could be seen at most of the bank branches and ATM machines. The poor and middle-class people, patients, farmers, senior citizens, foreign tourists, all are standing for days, in long queues, for their hard-earned money. Further to this, every other day, a new announcement or a roll back of any previous announcement comes from either the government or the regulatory agency, in the name of easing up the problems faced by the common ‘honest’ citizens of India.
Although, the Government of India (GOI) along with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are trying their level best to bring the situation under control, however, the reality is that in rural and interior areas the condition hasn’t changed much. The problem, especially in the rural and interior areas, has aggravated to such a large extent that none of the measures seems to be sufficient enough to bring a significant relief on the hardships that the common men are facing. Due to non-availability of cash in the market, the business is also getting impacted to a large extent. The biggest worry is that it is substantially affecting the agriculture sector, as well. Since we know that India’s economy is agriculture dependent, so if corrective measures are not taken immediately, then it is ultimately going to hit our economy, as a whole. This demonetisation step which was meant to hit the backbone of the corrupt people, black money holders, and terrorists, has actually brought a lot of hardship in the life of honest people. If things continue to be like this and don’t change soon, then the possibility of this resulting in first of its kind “economic riots” happening in the country could not be discarded altogether.
There is no argument on the point that some problems are likely to occur when such radical steps are taken in any economy. But still, a question arise that does hardship to such a large extent is a part and parcel of this demonetisation scheme or was it possible to smoothly execute it, causing least possible trouble to the honest citizens of the nation? Was it so difficult for the learned thinking caps to foresee even the basic problems that will occur on account of banning 86% of the currency from the market? Somehow it reflects that lot many of important things got skipped at the planning stage. Similarly, it forces us to think that whether this entire chaotic situation happened because the regulatory agency could not foresee the consequences of undertaking such a big task of demonetisation in world’s second largest populated country. Or is it that the regulatory agency chooses to surrender in front of the government and hence this step of demonetisation was taken in a hurry with half-hearted preparedness? Now, every responsible authority should evaluate that whether this demonetisation scheme is being implemented in the correct manner or could it have been implemented in a more appropriate manner?
Is it not a big lapse on our part if before executing any scheme we are unable to think of the bare minimum problems that will be faced by the citizens and come up with a solution in advance? If we do a root cause analysis of all the current chaos in the market, we will know that the reason of all these hardships is non-availability of sufficient currency. Why was the adequate availability of new currency notes not been ensured before taking up this drastic step? Although, GOI and RBI are assuring the citizens that there is enough availability of currency in the country, however, the hard-core reality is that within a couple of hours bank branches and post offices run out of cash and those standing for hours, in long queues, have to return empty-handed.
Post implementation of demonetisation also it seems they are not able to come up with precise measures to ease the pain. Why else they will have to roll back the announcements, every now and then? Quite surprisingly, District Central Co-operative Banks (DCCB) and Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS), which constitutes a strong pillar of our financial system especially in the rural areas, are restricted from accepting deposits in demonetised old currency notes. I fail to understand that when as a corrective measure cash withdrawal facility is made available at petrol pumps, what is the logic behind keeping Co-operative banks aloof in this situation which is on the verge of going out of control with each passing day? Is it on account of trust issues with the functioning of DCCB and PACS because of which this action has been taken? This is the question that needs to be answered by RBI and if the answer to that is in affirmative then RBI should take timely corrective actions.
It is to be noted here that in spite of all the hardships, the common men stands with the government in the fight against black money and has wholeheartedly extended their support in favour of this decision. The major reason of masses backing up demonetisation is because they are suffering since long from the disease of corruption, black money and terrorism and they seriously want to eradicate it from the nation, once for all. They are ready to face short-term pain, in anticipation of a better future. They have placed their hope in the present leadership and are positive that after 30th December 2016, the nation will see a new beginning of a corruption free India. Although, how much of that is actually achievable is a question that only the future will be able to answer correctly. I do hope that the wishes of common citizens come true this time and they are not left disappointed as usual.
I wish that the Almighty give good sense to each one of us.
God bless you all!