As the government marks the first anniversary of demonetisation today, two books look at issues related to the exercise and seeks to provide a fact-based discourse.
In "Note Bandi: Demonetisation and India's Elusive Chase For Black Money", author R Ramakumar talks about the announcement of demonetisation and implementation, its economic impact, role of the Reserve Bank of India, who all got affected and addresses many other issues.
The other book - "On the Trail of the Black: Tracking Corruption", edited by eminent economists Bibek Debroy and Kishore Arun Desai, traces the cross-sectoral prevalence of corruption and attempts a ringside view of its cumulative and cascading impact on the common citizen.
"Note Bandi" examines each claim of the government in favour of demonetisation and argues that it had failed to achieve every one of them.
It says that demonetisation will be judged by history as a policy that was illogical in conception, mismanaged in execution, disruptive to the economy and acutely burdensome on the working people.
The book, published by Oxford, raises questions on demonetisation within the broader debates on black money and tax evasion in India over the last six decades by bringing historical and contemporary material together and helping readers in engaging with the current demonetisation experience.
Ramakumar argues that the claim that demonetisation would hit terror financing was overstretched because the total circulation of counterfeit currency did not exceed 0.002 per cent of the total notes in circulation.
"No significant mobilisation of black money may be expected, as about 94 per cent of the unaccounted wealth was stored in the form of non-cash assets. A cashless economy can never be created over diktats, as the persistence of cash was a structural feature of the economy," the book says.
"India needed a structural transformation of its informal economy into a modern and productive sphere, which would systemically reduce the dependence on cash. A 'war on cash' was thus ineffective and premature," it says and presents a comprehensive analysis of these claims.
In "On the Trail of the Black: Tracking Corruption", the authors say that corruption and black money are festering sores that are holding the country back in the race towards development and since 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has displayed strong political intent and an unambiguous resolve to uproot this menace.
"Demonetisation was the radical policy measure which helped restore the faith of the common Indian in the 'system'.
It renewed belief that the system could be cleansed without overthrowing the gains which had accrued from liberalising the economy to market forces over the years," says the book, published by Rupa.
It also argues that demonetisation has prompted many ordinary Indians to experiment with digital transactions.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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