THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Supreme Court has only upheld the administrative and legal procedures of the 2018 demonetisation, and its economic impact was out of the purview of the case, said Finance Minister KN Balagopal. Responding to Monday’s SC verdict on demonetisation, the minister said the court did an ‘academic exercise’ only.
“The court mainly examined the administrative and legal procedures behind the note ban. They have been accepted by the court. At the time of demonetisation, different stakeholders like economists, traders and farmers had warned that the drive, without precautions, will have a negative impact on the economy. The Supreme Court has not examined this angle because it was not under the purview of the case,” Balagopal told reporters here on Monday.
Balagopal also pointed out the dissenting opinion by one of the judges in the five-member bench. He said pan-Indian studies had shown that the drive resulted in irreparable economic and political damage.
“The SC itself has said that it is too late for a relief. It seems the court has approved the Central government’s argument that no relief is possible by ‘unscrambling a scrambled egg’,” he said.
Balagopal said the drive shattered the Indian economy. “Studies at that time showed that small industries, agriculture sector, and commerce were severely damaged. Also, the Centre’s claims like the use of black money for extremism turned out to be wrong. 99% of the banned notes came back to the banking system,” the minister said.
The SC verdict was an academic exercise. The Central government and the BJP are taking various thoughtless decisions leaving people suffering. The disinvestment and privatisation of public sector enterprises is another blunder. The effect of privatisation of railways will be felt only at a later stage, he said.