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RBI must issue e-Rupees to all citizens

Peoples Voice on October 8, 2017 - 7:22 pm in Economics

Anandi Sharan
Writer, Climate Change Activist

The various reasons for demonetisation have not stood up to scrutiny: 99% of the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes came back to the RBI, so only Rs 165 billion out of Rs 16,415 billion may have been black money. Secondly if the aim was to stop people hoarding money in large denomination notes why print the Rs 2000 note? Thirdly the share of Rs 2000 banknotes in the total value of banknotes is 50%. The imbalance between high denomination and low denomination currency notes is a hindrance to normal market life. The RBI says it is “indigenising” note printing and new Rs 200 and 100 notes are being printed next year. It seems mind bogglingly incompetent to subject an entire country to such hardship just because you cannot get notes printed. What kind of level of manufacturing does a country need to be able to print currency notes?

Fourthly, the value of banknotes declined by 20.2% over the year from 16,415 billion to 13,102 billion as at end-March 2017. But there is no evidence that digital transactions compensated. Frontline magazine points out that as per annual trends there should have been 18,858 billion worth of notes in March 2017. Obviously this is the reason for the collapse of the Indian economy this year. There is 30% less cash than needed.

Fifthly, if the aim was to shift to digital currency, why did the BJP not issue a digital Reserve Bank e-Rupee directly to all Jan Dhan and other personal account holders in order to inject currency into the economy where it matters? The Swedish Central Bank has proposed this, as have the governments of Singapore and China. The Tunisian government and Senegal central bank have done it.  There was no reason to withdraw notes from circulation except if you want to be cruel.

But one thing came out of demonetisation. It made people think about money. What is money.

Everyone knows that 57 people in India own wealth equal to the bottom 70% of the people. It would be difficult to ask them to share it no doubt.

But to boost trade for the poor it would have been fine to pay Rs 1 lakh as promised as digital e-Rupee directly into every citizen’s account. The BJP had the opportunity and they blew it. The argument that government money pushes out private money issued by commercial banks is precisely the reason to do it but the BJP succumbed to the capitalists.

The poorest 70% of Indians are mainly in rural areas. The rural economy must be revived very urgently with Rs 1 lakh of e-Rupees into everyone’s account directly from the RBI. This would shift the emphasis of work from engineering and technology and urban migration back to agro-biodiversity and healthy food and ecological culture. If a agriculturist is not pressured by capitalists to plant terminator seeds they will use their money wisely for the health and wealth of Earth and family. It comes naturally to agriculturists and rural people. Own money will help free the rural economy from being captive to the destructive practices of big money urban interests.

The next government that boots out the BJP should do this. The BJP caused an immense catastrophe in India through demonetisation all for the utopia of the glory of Hindu Rashtra in the world which is unconstitutional. The Rupee whether note or e-Rupee created by the RBI is debt free and repayment free. Also, if the RBI is so useless centrally at indigenously printing notes why not have a note printing centre in every District? The practice of the BJP of depriving a person of their right to life by depriving them of currency is also unconstitutional; we must put an end to it.

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