New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a major step to crackdown on black money hoarders demonitised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday addressed media over the government decision to scrap these two currency notes.
The former Finance Minister said, “If the purpose of the decision is to curb menace of black money then it deserves our support.”
The Replacement of new notes with old notes must be done expeditiously with minimal problem to the poor and middle class people. However, the government had demonetised high-value currency before in 1978 and it failed. 
Introduction of a new series of notes is estimated to cost between Rs 15000 and 20000 crore, therefore the economic gains of demonetisation should be at least equal to that amount.
Here are the highlights of P Chidambaram’s address to the media:
  • Various governments considered it but the idea was dropped considering that economic gains would be very small and inconvenience will be very large.
  • The test will be how quickly the old notes will be replaced by new when they are legally tendered in banks.
  • We agree the objectives are sound, but will have to wait and see whether or not they are achieved.
  • We supported the decision yesterday but we will have to see if the objectives are achieved.
  • Empirical evidence tells unaccounted wealth is largely stashed away in construction, jewellery; don’t know how much is in hard cash.
  • It will be counter productive if people who have legitimate money will be put through inconvenience and harassment.
  • I don’t encourage or support unaccounted wealth or income, but there’s a non-monetised economy, you can’t call it black money.
  • Bulk of this money is legitimate money; Government and banks owe a duty to people to exchange it quickly.
  • I don’t understand why Rs 2000 notes have been introduced when Rs 500/1000 have been demonetised?
  • Not questioning objective of decision, that we support. We are only questioning that whether the objectives will be achieved.
  • Terrorist financing is exaggerated,small proportion of money may be used for terror activities but figures are exaggerated.