Reserve Bank of India and Modi Withhold Demonetization Statistics

06.01.2017 • Emerging Markets

Vivek Kaul – The Vivek Kaul Letter (India) –

In college, I followed a simple logic while answering questions in an exam. Irrespective of the fact whether I knew the answer to a question or not, I did not leave any space blank.

If I did not know the answer to the specific question that had been asked, then I wrote down answers to questions that had not been asked, but I knew.

The idea being that space should not be left blank. Given that teachers had way too many answer sheets to mark, they sometimes ended up giving marks for such gibberish as well.

This strategy (for the lack of a better word, given that I used it for so long), helped me tremendously over the years, especially during my MBA exams, where the teachers were totally uninterested in evaluating answer sheets.

In this scenario, those with good handwriting and the ability to fill up pages, benefited the most. Given that I only had the ability to fill up pages, I had to work doubly hard.

Dear Reader, you must be wondering by now, why am I talking about random stuff like my handwriting and my ability to phaff at the speed of thought, in the opening Letter of 2017.

Allow me to explain. On December 31, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressed the nation late in the evening. His address reminded me of my exam days. Modi spoke of a lot of things except those he should have been speaking about. It was like me writing an exam in which I had no idea of the answers to the questions that had been asked, but I still had to fill up space and which is what I did.

The troubling thing is that in Modi’s case he knows the answers. He is simply not telling us. Here are the questions I think Modi’s New Year’s Eve address to the nation should have answered, but it did not. a) How much black money has been destroyed?

The original idea of demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was to destroy black money. Black money is money which has been earned through legal or illegal means but on which taxes have not been paid. The assumption was that a significant portion of black money is held in the form of cash.

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