NEW DELHI: Raising red flags about an excessive thrust by NITI Aayog on use of technology in financial transactions, Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), on Saturday wondered why there had been a 25 per cent jump in demand for Bitcoins in the days following demonetisation in 2016. Countering assertions by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant that a Lokpal isn’t needed in the country for curbing black money, Mahajan said that there had been no clear assessment yet of the quantum of black money in the country.
Taking part in a panel discussion during a book release event in the presence of Union Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh, Mahajan rejected claims by NITI Aayog that simplification of rules and laws, instead of having a Lokpal, could tackle black money,
Warning of a conflict of interest in policymaking in the country, the SJM co-convenor rued that not much attention was being paid to this. “Our research says that there are issues of conflict of interests in important committees, working groups, regulators. Not less than 350 consultants were working in the Ministry of Health who were on the payrolls of MNCs, who have now been removed. Similar situation is prevailing in Food Safety and Standards Authority of India,” added Mahajan.