EditorialSanctum

Demonetisation, a make or break venture for Modi

There is an element of spasmodic jerkiness about some of PM Narendra Modi’s policies. In foreign affairs, this unevenness was seen in his interactions with Pakistan, which swung from warm friendliness to hostility, raising fears of a war. In domestic matters, the sudden outlawing of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has caused turmoil in all sectors of the economy, resulting in severe inconvenience to individuals and throwing trade and agricultural activity out of gear. Understandably, no advance notice could be given about the demonetisation of high-denomination currency in case the hoarders of black money took advantage of the disclosure. But the transition from one type of legal tender to another could have been managed in a smooth manner.

Since no forethought was apparently given to the impact on the ordinary people of the withdrawal of the notes, which constitute an estimated 86 per cent of those in circulation, banks and ATMs have had to face an unprecedented rush — with some people even dying while standing for long hours in queues.

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