Kolkata, Dec 8 (IANS) Lambasting the Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation move and sops announced by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to incentivise digital payments, noted economist Asim ADasgupta on Thursday said the central government has not been able to declare how much black money was recovered during the past month after the banning high value currency notes.
“The government has not been able to declare how much black money was recovered after the demonetisation. They should announce recovery figure which is very much possible,” the former West Bengal Finance Minister said, minutes after Jaitley at a media conference underlined a series of 11 measures designed to increase the pace of digital payments towards ushering in a cashless economy.
Owing to inadequate money supply, people’s plight is continuing and many died standing in the queue before banks and ATMs, he said.
“They are not able to say how soon the money supply will be restored,” Dasgupta said.
According to him, the estimated black money in the country was about Rs 35 lakh crore.
“With the demonetisation of high currency value, it is difficult to mop up even 5 percent of the total black money in economy. About 95 percent of black money is in the form of gold, real estate and transferred to the foreign countries. What steps have been taken to recover black money from abroad.
“What steps were taken to recover black money involved in the construction of the high-rise buildings and what initiatives were taken in the last one month to recover black money engaged in big jewellery transactions. Why are they not saying?” Dasgupta asked.
He said unless banking services were made universally accessibile, the cashless and digitised banking would not be successful.
“In West Bengal only, no banks are available in more than 9,000 villages out of 40,000 villages and one third of the population does not have any bank account,” he added.