An influential Chinese daily on Wednesday said India’s demonetisation drive was “a big failure” and has put the country’s economy back by at least a decade.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s November 8 announcement to scrap Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes was akin to “promising homeless people houses on Mars in one month’s time”, said an op-ed in the Global Times.
“The demonetisation ... has turned out to be a big failure,” it said.
“This facade of demonetisation is like promising homeless people houses on Mars in one month’s time.
“Unfortunately, the reality is that demonetisation has put the Indian economy back by at least a decade, leading to job losses,” the newspaper said.
“Furthermore, it resulted in severe mental and physical trauma for older citizens who spend hours in bank queues, where some have even died.”
The demonetisation led to an unprecedented cash crunch in the country after 86 per cent of all currency was spiked. New Delhi issued Rs 2,000 and new Rs 500 notes in place of the old currency.
The Global Times pointed out to problems Indians were facing amid calls to switch over to digital transactions.
“How then can India switch from a primarily cash-based economy to a digital one overnight in the absence of the required infrastructure?” the daily asked.
It said demonetisation had only led to increased corruption. “This whole exercise is devoid of any sense or logic.”