Demonetisation was a good move: Mohandas Pai

M Ramesh Chennai | Updated on February 09, 2020 Published on February 09, 2020

‘Demonetisation hurt people, but we came back in two quarters’   -  The Hindu

Changing behaviour of people brought down black money

Mohandas Pai, a former Director and Chief Financial Officer of the software icon, Infosys, has hailed the demonetisation as a good move that changed the behaviour of people.

“(Prime Minister) Modi did the right thing,” Pai said here on Saturday, in his keynote speech at the Madras Management Association’s Annual Convention, which was on the theme ‘Adapt to win’.

“Demonetisation hurt people, but we came back in two quarters,” he later told BusinessLine, referring to the November 2016 move of the Modi government that invalidated the legal tender status of ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency notes, in a bid to kill black money.

Pai said that of the 2.1 crore people who filed income-tax returns under the head ‘income from business’, perhaps 10 per cent had black money. “They were shocked out of their wits; they don’t know what Modi will do (next),” he said, observing that changing the behaviour of these people brought down black money. “Some are still cheating, but they are also getting caught,” he said.

He also criticised those who blamed demonetisation for the hundred-odd deaths of people, who died while standing in the queues to exchange their currency notes. “People don’t die because they stand in queues, that’s silly,” he said.

He said that the incidence of black money in real estate (in particular) had come down very much.

‘Massive clean-up’

Pai, who has generally taken a pro-government line on many issues, observed that “massive clean-up” was happening in India. Before the advent of Insolvency and Banking Code, people were “taking money and running away,” he said.

“We people work hard but these crooks take bank money and disappear,” he said, adding that the only way to make people law-abiding was “by putting 100,000 people in jail.”

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Published on February 09, 2020
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