Pointing to data on fake currency notes in Reserve Bank of India's annual report, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his claim that demonetisation would push digital transactions and wipe out fake currency.
Mr O'Brien shared a table graphic that showed that the number of fake Rs 500 notes doubled between this year and the last. During the same period, the number of fake Rs 2,000 notes jumped by 54 per cent.
Namaskar Mr PM @narendramodi DEMONETIZATION ?— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) May 29, 2022
Remember ? And how @MamataOfficial swiftly took you on ?
How you promised the nation Demo would WIPE OUT ALL COUNTERFEIT CURRENCY.
Here's the latest RBI report pointing out the huge increase in counterfeit notes???? pic.twitter.com/ipmQXUF8BY
"Namaskar Mr PM @narendramodi DEMONETIZATION ? Remember ? And how @MamataOfficial swiftly took you on? How you promised the nation Demo would WIPE OUT ALL COUNTERFEIT CURRENCY. Here's the latest RBI report pointing out the huge increase in counterfeit notes," the Rajya Sabha MP tweeted.
The data cited in the tweet was sourced from the latest annual report released by the RBI.
"Compared to the previous year, there was an increase of 16.4 per cent, 16.5 per cent, 11.7 per cent, 101.9 per cent and 54.6 per cent in the counterfeit notes detected in the denominations of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 200, Rs 500 (new design) and Rs 2000, respectively. The counterfeit notes detected in the denominations of Rs 50 and Rs 100 declined by 28.7 per cent and 16.7 per cent, respectively," the report stated.
The Narendra Modi government's demonetisation move had shocked the nation and compelled millions to queue up outside banks to withdraw their hard-earned money. The sudden announcement led to chaos, panic and hardships as people ran from one bank to the other.
Announcing the move, Prime Minister Modi had pointed to the menace of fake currency notes and how terrorists were using this route for transactions.
He had said that the note ban was aimed at reducing cash transactions to crack down on black money and corruption.
The Prime Minister had said demonetisation was an opportunity where every citizen can join a "mahayajna" against corruption, black money and fake notes.
However, despite the promise to reduce cash transactions, the value and volume of notes in circulation has continued to increase since the November 8, 2016 move.
Between November 8, 2016 and October 29, 2021, the notes in circulation in value terms increased by 64 per cent, government data has shown.
Trinamool leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was among the leading voices of protest against the demonetisation move. Soon after the Prime Minister's announcement, she had termed the decision "draconian" and called for its withdrawal. Targeting the Prime Minister, she had said the move was a "drama" to "divert his failure" because he couldn't get back black money from abroad as promised during elections.