Chidambaram opposes digital payment, says demonetisation a “scam”

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Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that he strongly oppose complete digital payment system in the country. Speaking at a programme organised by Manthan in Hyderabad last evening, after launching of his book “Fearless in Opposition: Power and Accountability”, a completion of essays, he termed demonetisation as a big “scam”.

Accusing that every day, Rs 1 lakh crore rupees transactions take place in digital mode, then the middlemen would get Rs 1,500 crore, he deplored one could deny the right of an aged person for buying medicines by giving cash. According to him it would take at least 12 to 18 months for the economy to be returned to normalcy after demonetisation.

The senior Congress leader said that if a one hundred rupee note changed 10 hands in 10 transactions in day from a buyer to purchaser, no middleman would benefit out of that transaction. “The purchaser will give Rs 100 note and take Rs 100 worth goods or services. The seller will get Rs 100 note. No middleman will benefit out of this,” he added.

If the same number of transactions were done through digital mode, then for each transaction 1.5 per cent charge would be collected by the middleman. “After the same Rs 100 note changed hands 10 times in a day, the middleman will benefit Rs 15,” he said.

Recalling that even before many people like him saw the new Rs 2,000 note, bundles of new notes were found in the residency of the Chief Secretary in Tamil Nadu. He wondered that till now no one, including RBI explained how politicians and officials got bundles of new notes till now.

He also slammed surveys that claimed that the public supported demonetisation. “Surveys suggested that Hillary Clinton would win the US elections. Better not to believe surveys,” he said.

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