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1 Jan 2017

No economic reason for demonetisation, says Amartya

HT, 31 December 2016, SANTINIKETAN: Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has said that if a person does not support demonetisation that does not mean he is in favour of black money hoarders. Sen also added that he believes that the recall of high value notes was done without a proper plan.
Sen was here to address a seminar, “Half Decade of RTE: How far are we from the goal point?” on Friday afternoon.
Later, addressing the media, he said, “There was no economic reason for demonetisation and it has had a negative impact on society.” “In every country, there is both plastic money and the system of using cash. But it all depends on what you are using and how much,” he added.
“Demonetisation has had a very negative impact on our society. We have to wait and study its impact on farmers, small businessmen and common people,” Sen said. He added, “I don’t think the demonetisation decision was taken according to a plan.”
An effort is underway to establish that the move has been successful, he added. “At first, you are asked whether you oppose black money. If not, people assume you support demonetisation. This is not true,” Sen said.
Earlier, too, Sen had criticised demonetisation. Last month, while speaking to a news channel, the Nobel Laureate had called move “despotic action that has struck at the root of an economy based on trust.”
“It undermines notes, it undermines bank accounts, it undermines the entire economy of trust. That is the sense in which it is despotic. It’s a disaster on the economy of trust. In the last 20 years, the country has been growing very fast. But it is all based on the acceptance of each other’s word,” Sen had said.

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