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Illegal exachange of old currency with new currency (Relevant for GS Mains Paper III)

Hoarding of new currency and gold:
Investigations into the hoarding of new currency notes in the denomination of Rs.2,000 have implicated not only mining barons and contractors, but also government officials and politicians.

Recent searches in the residence and office premises of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P. Rama Mohana Rao (who has since been replaced) leading to the seizure of loads of cash and gold prove to this point. 

Who is behind exchange of currency?
It is now clear that in the first few days after the demonetisation announcement, when government-imposed limits on withdrawals were in force, and people were queuing up before banks, several unscrupulous officials of both public sector and private banks conspired to convert demonetised notes to benefit black marketers and corrupt public servants.

Extent of exchange of currency:
That black marketeers and corrupt public servants have been able to quickly change so much of their under-the-radar wealth into new currency notes easily explains how most of the notes out of the Rs.15.4 lakh crore that were in circulation before the demonetisation have been returned to banks a week before the December 30 deadline. By December 10, Rs.12.44 lakh crore, or 80 per cent of the old notes, was back in the system, and by December 30 most, if not all, could well return.

Pressure on government:
The Centre is therefore under pressure to prove that the demonetisation drive has been effective in unearthing black money. Substantial seizures from the corrupt is a way of signalling this, and it will be no surprise if the raids only intensify in the days to come.

 



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