Demonetization is a hollow move
Narendra Modi's publicity coup has penalized the entire informal sector while doing nothing to curb corruption or tax evasion
At the stroke of the midnight hour of 9 November 2016, India lost 86% of its monetary base. The media—print, electronic and social—has been fulsome in its praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “master stroke" by which he has reportedly destroyed the base of corruption in India. “Surgical strike", “shock and awe", “big bang reform" are only a few of the laudatory phrases used to describe the pre-emptive demonetization of Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes. There is no doubt whatsoever that Modi has pulled off a major political and publicity coup and substantially enhanced his reputation as a muscular leader, but surely somebody needs to ask: at what price?
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