New Delhi: Over 150 eminent personalities on Tuesday denounced the Narendra Modi government's decision to demonetise high denomination currency notes as "misconcieved".
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, social activist Aruna Roy and economist Jayati Ghosh, among others, questioned the government's rationale behind demonetising of 500- and 1,000-rupee notes and gave nine reasons why the move would not curb black money as is being claimed by the government.
"In the last 5 years, IT raids have found that only 5-6 per cent of black money is kept in hard cash. Moreover, those who have amassed sizable black money are equipped to find ways around demonetisation by converting their existing cash to bullion, gold jewellery, real estate and foreign currencies through brokers and middlemen," they said in a statement.
They, however, said that they would support any effort of the government to curb corruption.
"we support all efforts to stop corruption, stamp out black money and counterfeit currency, and act against funding that helps create unrest in the country, be it through terrorism or creating divisions and hatred among people," the statement said.
Questioning the rationale behind issuing of 2,000-rupee notes, they said: "If it is the government's case that high value denomination currency is used to hoard black money, then the decision to reissue new Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes does not make sense. Issuing even higher value Rs 2,000 note is completely inexplicable and puzzling."
Some of the other popular personalities who signed the statement are Nayantara Sehgal, Harsh Mander, and Mallika Sarabhai.