By Vivek Kaul – Vivek Kaul’s Diary (India) –
One week back, the finance minister Arun Jaitley said in the Rajya Sabha: “At no point of time, not for a single day, was the currency inadequate.”
Every government needs to defend decisions it has taken. In that context Jaitley’s statement is hardly surprising. Nevertheless, it not only mocks the common man of this country but also tells us how disconnected our ruling politicians are with the realities of the day.
Jaitley was essentially talking about the situation that prevailed in the aftermath of demonetisation or notebandi, as it is more commonly referred to as.
If there was no currency shortage for even a single day, why did ATMs have such long lines for close to a month? Is Mr Jaitley saying that people just gathered there because they had nothing else to do?
If there was no currency shortage even for a day, why did the government place limits on ATM withdrawals? It was churlish of Jaitley to have said what he did, given that 86 per cent of the currency in circulation was demonetised, the midnight of November 8, 2016, onwards.
The advantage with making speeches is that nobody asks questions at the end of the it. Nevertheless, the lack of empathy among the politicians does get registered.