RBI report: Mamata comes down heavily on Centre

New Delhi: Launching a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday questioned if demonetisation was aimed at helping certain black money holders to convert their money into whites.

Taking to her Twitter handle, she further said that the report proved All India Trinamool Congress’ (AITMC) apprehension on demonetisation.

“Today, the RBI in its annual report for 2017-18 has vindicated our apprehension. 99.3% of the money has come back to the banking system. My first question now is -where has the black money gone? My second question – was this scheme hatched to allow some black-money holders to quietly convert their black money into white? What a tragedy and what a shame,” she said.

Her statement comes after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stated that 99.3 per cent of the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, banned overnight in November 2016, have been returned to the banking system.

According to RBI’s annual report for the year 2017-18, the total value of Specified Bank Notes (SBNs) in circulation as on November 08, 2016, post verification and reconciliation, was Rs 15,417.93 lakh crore, out of which currency worth Rs 15,310.73 lakh crore has returned.

Banerjee said that soon after demonetisation was announced on November 8, 2016, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she had an intuition that it was a “big anti-people measure”.

“As soon as the draconian #DeMonetisation was announced on Nov 8, 2016, I immediately sensed by intuition that this is a big anti-people measure. It will severely affect common people, especially, farmers, unorganized sector, small entrepreneurs, hard-working middle class,” wrote Banerjee.

After Prime Minister Modi announced the move to demenotise currency notes of Rs 500 and RS 1000, the Opposition launched repeated attacks on the ruling party for being insensitive to the poor.