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Singh also slammed bullet train project saying it was an "exercise in vanity" and will "not benefit either 6.5 crore Gujaratis or the nation".

She said demonetisation was not to combat black money but was aimed at to "convert black money into white money for vested interests of the political party in power". "Today, every global agency eulogise the kind of structural reforms India has initiated", said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in retaliation to Singh's allegations. As Dr Singh attacked the government over the "disastrous" and "reckless" decision, saying it had lowered the growth rate and hit employment generation, finance minister Arun Jaitely moved in to quickly defend the "historic" move, claiming that demonetisation has met its objective of reducing cash in the economy and dealing a body blow to black money. "Instead of providing relief, as I had requested in Parliament, to the poor and marginalised, farmers, traders, and the small and medium businesses, who suffered the brunt of demonetisation, the government chose to inflict on them a badly designed and hastily implemented GST", he said.

He said after the demonetisation announcement, the currency in circulation was less by Rs 3.89 lakh crore, meeting the objective of less-cash economy to reduce the flow of black money into the system. "Individual tax payers' number has increased, digital transactions have gone up and terror funding has squeezed", Jaitley said on eve of note ban anniversary.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday described the NDA regime's demonetisation more as a clear case of 'organised loot and legalised plunder'. "We never took such a drastic measure because in our reasoned analysis, the costs of demonetisation always exceeded the benefits substantially", he said.

He said no world democracy had undertaken such a "coercive" move of withdrawing 86 per cent of legal tenders in one single swoop.

"The fact that more than 99 percent of demonetised currency came back into the banking system, has punctured the government's claims".

PM Modi has accused former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of not going for demonetization when needed, and said he would not have had to carry out the big task if she had taken the step years ago. "And today, there isn't an worldwide agency which does not eulogise the kind and quality of the structural reforms Indian is making". "The unending notifications and changes, a repeat of the chaos of demonetisation, have caused needless confusion", said the former prime minister. Even this is underestimated as the pain of the informal sector has not even been calculated, he added.

The otherwise reclusive former Prime Minsiter Dr Manmohan Singh tore into his successor Narendra Modi for not learning any lessons from the monumental blunder of demonetisation. Singh said the country's import in first half of 2016- 17 stood at Rs 1.96 lakh crore, whereas it increased to Rs 2.41lakh crore in 2017-18.

Countering this, Singh said, "The government says that they will pursue all those who made large deposits in banks after demonetisation".

"This was done by the government without paying any heed to our advice..."

"By questioning bullet trains does one become anti-development?"

These twin blows damaged India's medium and small manufacturing sectors and our businesses had to run to Chinese imports at the cost of Indian jobs, he added.


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