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‘I Am Against High Value Currency’

In a chat with Businessworld, yoga guru Ramdev terms the Modi’s government’s demonetisation drive as historic and the exercise will ultimately improve the country’s economy

Photo Credit : BW Archives

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In a chat with Businessworld’s Monica Behura, yoga guru Ramdev terms the Modi’s government’s demonetisation drive as historic and the exercise will ultimately improve the country’s economy. He also urges people to cooperate with the government and bear the pain for a few days.

Excerpts:

When did you realise that the government would accept your recommendations on banning Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes?
By demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, Modi has dealt a severe blow to corruption, black money, terrorism and fake currency business. Earlier, because of lack of effective steps on the black money issue, I and people in the country were dissatisfied. I had spoken to Prime Minister Modi, finance minister Arun Jaitley and BJP president Amit Shah on this issue.

Apart from banning these currency notes, what more measures need to be taken to unearth black money across the country?
Phasing out these notes has destroyed the terrorists. Due to this move, Modi is now facing threat to his life from drug mafia, terrorists and also from those committing economic offences. But people should cooperate with the Centre in this endeavour to clean up the system.

The Narendra Modi government, in the last two-and-a-half years, has initiated a number of measures to unearth black money. How do you evaluate them?
Demonetisation is the biggest attack on corruption so far in the country. Opposing it is like ‘deshdroh’ (sedition). When people did not change, PM Modi decided to change the currency notes. Government has taken bold steps and I am sure they will take such steps in the future as well.

Do you think the introduction of Rs 2,000 currency notes is part of the measures to curb black money or could it also result in a problem?
I am against allowing high-value notes. The government has brought the Rs 2,000 note for a temporary period. It should bring the notes in small quantity. (But) it should ban the note in future if it wants the campaign against black money, corruption, terror funding and naxalism to succeed in the long run. Or else, black money will be back. And hoarders will devise some new strategy to stash their illegal wealth.

Common people are facing a lot of hardships due to the demonetisation. Do you think this could have been avoided?
Some people are blaming the government as they are facing difficulties because of the sudden move. But it is going to improve the country’s overall economic condition. It will raise the growth rate of the economy, control inflation and bring down the prices of essential commodities, which will ultimately make people’s lives better. I urge the people to cooperate with the government in this endeavour to clean up the system. When there is a war, soldiers face many hardships and starve for weeks. Can’t we, for the welfare of the nation, endure these hardships for a few days?

What other measures would you prescribe for the betterment of the country and its economy?
There should be one step at a time as India is a vast country. Let this bold demonetisation step be successful and reach its goal to curb black money. Things will fall in place for the betterment of people and its economy.