Demonetisation drive – some positive outcomes in the short term too

When it comes to demonetisation, it looks universally accepted that in the short term, the positives would be low and negatives high. Everyone has come to know about the negatives, be it the long queues or news of business slumping.

The scheme has also attracted a lot of manufactured negativity which includes a huge spurt in rumor mongering (OpIndia busted quite a few of those, but honestly we couldn’t keep track of all of them) and wrongly blaming the demonetisation scheme for some unfortunate deaths.

To steer away from all the negativity, here are some positive outcomes of the scheme. For example, look at these incidents:

  • Cash worth around 73 lakhs were seized from two cars by police near Nashik, Maharashtra. The cash fully comprised of the now defunct 500 and 1000 rupees notes.
  • Moving from the West to the East, it was reported that cash worth around 50 lakh was seized from a car in Guwahati.
  • Now moving to the South. 45 lakhs in old notes were seized from a car, this time in Puducherry.
  • Finally we make way to the North. Cash worth 30 lakhs in old notes were seized from a car in Ludhiana.
  • Also why should cars have all the fun! Cash recovered from trains too, that is, from people trying to smuggle it in trains.
  • One from Mamata Banerjee’s territory where 80 lakhs were seized from two men in Kolkata.
  • And now cash recovered from Post Office employee in Jharkhand.
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The above examples (this is just indicative list, not exhaustive, many more such examples exist) dealt with police keeping the order of the law by seizing the notes. The notes in the above cases, till date driving the economy in black market, would finally end up at the RBI which will then proceed to destroy the defunct notes and issue new ones.

Now below are some examples where people decided to take matters into their own hands and save RBI the trouble of destroying the defunct notes. Macro-economically speaking its not a bad idea as for every piece of note obliterated all the other existing notes gain some value plus destroying the notes is equivalent to giving the notes back to the RBI (which is already happening):

  • The story started here, sacks full of burnt notes were found in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh just a day after the government announced the demonetisation scheme.
  • After Dhoni’s biopic, Jamsedhpur was again in the news when sackful of torn notes worth 25 lakhs were recovered from its drain.
  • A garbage dump in Pune was gifted cash worth 50,000 in the from of Rs 1000 notes. The only difference between these notes and the usual trash in the garbage is that the usual trash still has some value.
  • Another from Guwahati where a whopping 3.5 crores worth of notes were found swimming in the city drains.
  • Finally some people chose to return the now dead notes to River Ganga probably in the hope that they might attain salvation.

Again, this is just an indicative list and not exhaustive. You can scan the newspapers (or Google News) and find many such incidents being reported on a daily basis. These definitely can be called some short term positive outcomes of the demonetisation.

Apart from the law or the offender himself seizing or destroying the black money, some other impacts or side-effects we have seen are:

  • Government employees being caught for taking bribes in new notes, such as in Maharashtra, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.
  • There has been reports that people are returning or cancelling their dowry demands after demonetisation!
  • Small vendors and businesses are moving towards adopting technology like mobile wallets or card payments.

Though all this does bring us back to to the central subject of demonetisation and its effects on our economy. For now you can read this SWOT analysis of the of the demonetisation scheme, thereby giving the reader a much needed insight about what the scheme may and may not achieve.

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