Anil Bokil, one of the first supporters of demonetization and also ther person who presented the idea to the Prime Minister, has recently defended the move. In an interview with The Economic Times, he said that there was a huge cash bubble and if demonetization had not been implemented, India would have faced the subprime crisis the US faced in 2008.
A member of the Pune-based Artha Kranti Pratisthan, Bokil calls the criticism the move received, politically interpreted. “What was happening was simple, since less taxes were being collected, the governments over the years had printed more cash, this had led to a huge pileup, cash was being used for every transaction…Since there was cash bubble with far worse consequences,” Bokil said.
Since the Indian Rupee was being eroded by the presence of fake notes, demonetization was a much needed move, claims Bokil. He further explained his point by saying, “What has been done is fencing of the economy. This was not just about curbing black money, there were many other facets involved, like fake currency, inflation. The cash was being used by anti-social elements. The government had to do it because it’s prime responsibility was to secure the nation.”
It was Bokil who had made a presentation on the need for demonetization to the then Gujarat CM, Narendra Modi, in 2013. He says that he had first made the presentation to Dr. Manmohan Singh, the then Prime Minister.
When asked about the number of people who lost their lives during the demonetization period, he made a very insensitive comment calling the deaths a cost of change. “This will happen in a country like India, we are too sensitive. This is the cost of change,” he said.
Bokil claims that demonetization was a necessary step towards curbing the presence of fake notes.
Title image: arthakranti