India’s Demonetization Was a Disaster, GDP Growth Slumps to Two-Year Lows
Readers may recall in December of 2016, we posted quite a few stories on the topic of India attempting to “demonetize” their economy, taking most cash out of circulation in what was supposedly an attempt to crack down on criminals.
This has, to no one’s surprise (except governments, the far left, and central bankers), inflicted a big blow on India’s economy:
India’s embattled Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced a double whammy of abuse this week as his nation’s economic growth collapsed to its weakest since Q1 2014 and India’s Central Bank released a report on Modi’s extraordinary “demonitization” plan last year showing that 99 per cent of the high denomination banknotes cancelled last year were deposited or exchanged for new currency, crushing Modi’s lie that his contentious ‘war on cash’ would wipe out huge amounts of so-called ‘black money’.
When Modi announced in November that Rs1,000 ($16) and Rs500 notes would no longer be legal tender, he suggested that corrupt officials, businessmen and criminals — popularly believed to hoard large amounts of illicit cash — would be stuck with “worthless pieces of paper”. At the time, government officials had suggested that as much as one-third of India’s outstanding currency would be purged from the economy – as the wealthy abandoned or destroyed it, rather than admit to their hoardings – reducing central bank liabilities and creating a government windfall.
After India’s Composite PMI collapsed, India’s Q2 GDP growth slowed to 5.7% – its weakest since Q2 2014…
And now, as The FT reports, the Reserve Bank of India’s annual report on Wednesday suggested that most holders of the old currency managed to dispose of it, estimating that banned notes worth Rs15.28tn ($239bn) were returned to the bank. That amounts to 99 per cent of the Rs15.44tn of the old high-value notes that were in circulation when Mr Modi made his announcement, according to the finance ministry.