Kolkata, Aug 29 : Criticising the Central government's demonetisation move, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wondered whether the note ban was imposed to allow some black money holders to quietly convert it into white.
Incidentally, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that over 99 per cent of the Rs 15.3 lakh crore taken out of circulation through demonetisation in November 2016 has returned to the apex bank.
"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?" she asked in her social media post.
The RBI's annual report 2017-18 said that on completion of the process of verification of the scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, it is found that the total value of the demonetised currency returned to the banks now stands at Rs 15.3 lakh crore, which amounts to 99.3 per cent of the Rs 15.4 lakh crore worth of such notes in circulation on November 8, 2016.
Banerjee also said she sensed by intuition that this is a big anti-people measure after "the draconian demonetisation" was announced.
She also reiterated that it would severely affect the common people of the country, especially farmers, the unorganised sector, small entrepreneurs and the hard working middle class.
She added: "Today, the RBI in its annual report for 2017-18 has vindicated our apprehension.
What a tragedy and what a shame!!!"