Economy

Arun Shourie Compares Demonetisation to Suicide, Calls It ‘Largest Money-Laundering Scheme’

“Policies that ought to be implemented, and ought to implemented well, like GST, are being completely fumbled,” Shourie also said in an interview to NDTV.

Arun Shourie. Credit: PTI/Files

Arun Shourie. Credit: PTI/Files

New Delhi: Former BJP leader Arun Shourie on Tuesday told NDTV that demonetisation was responsible for India’s economic slowdown and that it was the “biggest money-laundering scheme ever”, helping people covert black money into white.

Calling the move an “idiotic jolt”, the former Union minister said, “It (demonetisation) was the largest money-laundering scheme ever, conceived and implemented entirely by the government”.

Shourie also called the Narendra Modi government as “government of two-and-a-half persons” – “Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and one in-house lawyer”.

“This is a government by ilhaam (revelation). The prime minister has the ilhaam one night that demonetisation should be done and he does it. In any case it was a bold step. I have to remind you suicide too is a bold step,” he said.

The former minister also pulled up the government for its handing of the GST. “Policies that ought to be implemented, and ought to implemented well, like GST, are being completely fumbled,” Shourie said. “The rules have been amended seven times within three months. And you can’t even count the number of notifications,” he continued.

Shourie added that the BJP was treating the announcement of the GST like an “event management” exercise. “Look at this! To put a tax reform at par with the independence of India –  ‘a tryst with destiny’, ‘second destiny’, a midnight session of parliament – for a tax reform!”


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Shourie’s most recent criticism of the government comes days after BJP leader Yashwant Sinha wrote an article criticising the Modi government for making a mess of India’s economy. “The prime minister claims that he has seen poverty from close quarters. His finance minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters,” Sinha wrote. Shourie said that he agreed with Sinha that others within the BJP were also worried about where the economy is going and the government policies.

This is not the first time Shourie has been critical of the Modi regime. In an interview with The Wire in January this year, he said, “It (what India is witnessing today) is a decentralised emergency. What we are going towards is a pyramidal decentralised mafia state, where local goons will belabour anyone whom they think is doing something wrong.”

He also said that it was Modi and Amit Shah who were the true “anti-nationals”: They are the anti nationals, they are the ones against our culture. Modi and Shah have ensured the Indirakaran (‘Indirafication’) of the BJP. Because if you look at Modi versus the cabinet, there is nobody, Modi and the party, there is no party – only Modi and Shah.”

You can read The Wire‘s full interview with Shourie here.