Srinagar: Former Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram has derided the demonetisation move of the government, saying it is demonisation of cash than the real demonetisation and no big economy has taken this route in last 50 years, an Indian news channel reported.
“This is simply an exchange of old notes for new and not demonetisation. The world has changed in a sense that it is more difficult to do demonetisation,” Chidambaram told the channel in an interview on Wednesday.
Criticising the government move, Chidambaram said, “It brought utter misery to the common man and no big country has announced demonetisation in last 50 years. Countries like Libya and Zimbabwe had taken up demonetisation in the past,” Chidambaram said in the interview, adding that benefits of demonetisation as argued by the government will not be substantial.
He also termed the cashless economy as a ‘foolishly utopian’ concept, adding that all big economies have around 20 percent cash component.
“US has an 18 percent cash economy and it stands at 12.7 percent for China,” he said.
Chidambaram had also said that former Reserve Bank governor Raghuram Rajan wouldn’t have agreed to such a move. “I am pretty sure chief economic advisor was not consulted,” he added.