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After demonetisation, Centre arm-twisting RBI: West Bengal FM Amit Mitra

Ishita Ayan Dutt/ 08 Nov 18 | 08:29 PM

Amit Mitra

On Thursday, West Bengal's Finance, Commerce and Industries Minister, Amit Mitra, said that after demonetisation, the government was now arm-twisting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to hand over Rs 3.6 trillion. Mitra made the statements in the wake of two years of demonetisation. 

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"If the RBI is forced to comply by invoking Section 7, will this massive sum of money be also destined to creating another scam, enriching a few crony capitalists," Mitra questioned. 

The current stand-off between the central bank and the government stemmed from a series of suggestions proposed by the former that were overlooked. The suggestions included, among others, transfer of more reserves from the RBI to the central exchequer.

ALSO READ: Two years of demonetisation: Growth back on track, but leaves out MSMEs

The Minister further said the RBI data suggests that a large number of bank frauds had taken place under the NDA government in which Nirav Modi and company were only the tip of the iceberg. 

"We have heard big-talk on the floor of the Parliament in February 2017 that “data analytics" will be used to track down those who have converted black-money into white through demonetisation. Yet, since then not a single case has been concluded in hunting down the offenders. Why is this so? Is it incompetence or intentional negligence to enrich and legitimise the ill-gotten wealth of black money holders? Is this not a massive scam as well?" he asked.

ALSO READ: Govt wants Rs 1 trn from RBI to hike spending before 2019 poll: Chidambaram

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had led a national movement against demonetisation in 2016, said, "Demonetisation was a disaster. November 8th is the darkest day for India. There was an agenda behind the decision of demonetisation."

#DarkDay Today is the second anniversary of #DeMonetisation disaster. From the moment it was announced I said so. Renowned economists, common people and all experts now all agree.

— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 8, 2018

"Who benefited from this decision? Why was this decision taken? To satisfy whom? I have a suspicion that this decision was taken to satisfy the agenda of a few people," she added.

#DarkDay The government cheated our nation with this big #DeMonetisation scam. It ruined the economy and the lives of millions. People will punish those who did this

— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 8, 2018

Banerjee had become the face of the anti-demonetisation drive. She led a national campaign, from leading a protest march in Delhi to leading a rally in Lucknow.

ALSO READ: Demonetisation changed India's cash habits? Not quite, but UPI a big hit

I know the pulse of the grassroots, she said. "They were crying. It was then that I realised it was a big disaster and decided to call it out," the Chief Minister said on Thursday.

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