Hyderabad, January 20: The Congress party on Friday demanded resignation of RBI Governor Urjit Patel for the ‘demonitization mess’.
“RBI’s autonomy and statutory powers have been subjugated and compromised. Responsibility lies at the doorsteps of RBI Governor for this erosion of credibility. RBI Governor must forthwith resign taking responsibility for the ‘demonetization mess’ as also permitting Modi Government to encroach upon the jurisdiction of RBI, rendering it as a mouthpiece of the government. Times demand that RBI’s autonomy as India’s financial regulator be restored forthwith,” TPCC President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded in the representation submitted to RBI Regional Director R. Subramanian after the Congress workers held a massive dharna at RBI’s regional headquarters at Saifabad.
Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded that the people be granted the ‘right of withdrawal of own money’ by lifting all restrictions. “RBI and Modi Government should issue a ‘white paper’ and answer all the questions and demands raised by the Congress party on behalf of people of India,” he said in the 4-page memorandum.
The TPCC chief alleged that the unwitting decision of ‘demonetization’ has pushed 125 crore people of India into a web of humungous problems and difficulties. “India’s ‘wheel of development’ has come to a standstill as crores of people were made to line up in front of banks and ATMs for last 70 days by giving up their day-to-day livelihood. ‘Demonetization’ has turned out to be a surgical strike on India’s poor, farmers, labour, shopkeepers, small businesses, middle class and the entire unorganized sector. An autocratic Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, bloating over the arrogance of numbers and a captive RBI, has plunged the country into a state of ‘economic anarchy’, wiping out people’s earnings and creating a colossal sense of fear and insecurity,” he said.
Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded that Modi Government should unconditionally apologize to the families and nation for 120 deaths which were caused due to ‘demonitisation’. He said special provision should be made for payment of compensation to the families of the deceased.
“RBI, Finance Ministry and other departments of Government have changed the rules and directives on demonetization 138 times in 70 days. RBI alone has issued 78 notifications of ‘rule change’ in 70 days making people term it as ‘Reverse Bank of India’. Does it not reflect and absolute lack of comprehension and unpreparedness on part of RBI? Truth is, confusion confounds RBI and Modi government completely,” he said. Quoting statistics furnished by experts, he said it would take 6 to 8 months to print the entire 86% currency that has been withdrawn. He asked as to why the RBI was not coming forward to disclose to people of India the time that would be taken in replacement of ‘old currency’ with ‘new currency’?
The TPCC chief also pointed out that the new notes of Rs.500 and Rs.2000 have no new security features. Further, new Rs.500 notes of three different types have been printed on account of an error as admitted by RBI itself. “Do RBI and Prime Minister take responsibility for the same? Will it not lead to counterfeiting of currency by those spreading fake currency in India?” he asked.
He also sought clarification and statistics on how demonitisation has curbed ‘black money’.
The Congress leader alleged that the ‘Demonetization’ has deeply hurt the ‘National Income’ and ‘GDP’. Centre for Monitoring on Indian Economy (CMIE) has assessed the first 50 days loss of demonetization at Rs.1,28,000 crores. In a report on 16th January, 2017; International Monetary Funds (IMF) has predicted a 1% loss to India’s GDP during the current financial year i.e. 2016-17. This would mean a loss of Rs.1,50,000 crores. Noted economist & former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has assessed the loss to GDP at nearly 2% or Rs.3,00,000 crores. As per IMF’s report, India has lost the tag of ‘fastest growing economy’ to China. Even the report dated 17th January, 2017 of ‘World Economic Forum’ has downgraded India’s position in ‘Inclusive Growth & Development Index’ to No. 60 out of 79 countries. Will RBI and Modi government give an estimate of loss to economy and GDP?
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the ‘Demonetization’ has paralyzed the entire agricultural economy. “Farm and Cooperative sectors have been the worst hit with a unilateral embargo being placed on 370 District Central Cooperative Banks and over 93,000 Agricultural Cooperative Credit Societies. Small and Medium industries have shut down across the country with massive job losses. Worst hit is the entire unorganized sector comprising of street vendors, hawkers, carpenters, plumbers, masons, electricians, blacksmiths, cloth merchants, kiryana shop owners, vegetable traders, small traders and shopkeepers. Entire honest cash economy of India, which is the biggest job generator, has been paralyzed,” he said.
Earlier, Uttam Kumar Reddy led a massive rally, organized by ex-minister Danam Nagender, from Ravindra Bharathi to RBI regional office.
AICC leader Anil Shastri, TPCC Working President Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, CLP leader K. Jana Reddy, Leader of Opposition in Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir, Implementation Committee chairman Ponnala Lakshmaiah, AICC Secretaries R.C. Khuntia and G. Chinna Reddy, ex-PCC president V. Hanumantha Rao, ex-union minister Sarve Satyanarayana, MLCs Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, Akula Lalitha, Ranga Reddy, MLAs T. Jeevan Reddy, D.K. Aruna, AICC Committee Incharge K.B. Krishna Murthy, Youth Congress president Anil Kumar Yadav, Mahila Congress president Nerella Sharada and other leaders including Mallu Ravi, Marri Shashidhar Reddy, Anjan Kumar Yadav, Ponnam Prabhakar and Dasoju Sravan took part in the protest.