After the scheme of demonetisation was announced by the Government of India, we have suddenly seen a spurt in the number of economists and experts of finance. Case in point was how The Hindu’s Suhasini Haider, tried to twist the statement of the Left-leaning foreign minister of Greece, into an anti-demonetisation statement. The Hindu was today slammed by the Greek embassy for deliberate misquoting his words.
Back home, we had the former Income Tax officer and IIT pass-out Arvind Kejriwal making one bizarre claim after another. We had trashed each of his ridiculous lies in a series of posts, after which one seriously wondered how he could have been an Income Tax officer.
Now another person, who should have known his stuff better, has fallen from the pedestal. Although a staunch dynasty stooge and a Congressman, P Chidambaram was regarded as one of the financial brains of the country. He has been the Finance Minister of India for multiple terms and as such, can be expected to be good with facts, logic and numbers. But today he dispelled such myths by revealing his ignorance with this tweet:
There is a Rs 13,860 crore hole in the Rs 65,000 crore IDS! How many more holes?
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) December 4, 2016
Chidambaram had claimed here that Rs 13860 crores, out of the Rs 65000 odd crores reported to be declared during the Income Disclosure Scheme which ended on 30th September, were actually not there at all, non-existent. Was this true? Not quite.
In a clearly worded press-release, the Ministry of Finance laid out the following facts:
1. After final reconciliation the revised figure of declarations received and taken on record was Rs. 67,382 crore which had been made by 71,726 declarants. (This was the Rs 65000 crore odd figure which Chidambaram referred to, again off by a few thousand crores)
2. Two sets of declarations of high value were not taken on record in the above figure because these declarations were found to be suspicious in nature being filed by persons of small means:
a. First by Mr. Abdul Razzaque Mohammed Sayed and family who filed a total declaration of Rs. Two lakh crore (Rs. 2,00,000 crore).
b. Second by Mr. Mahesh Kumar Champaklal Shah for an amount of Rs.Thirteen Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty crore (Rs.13,860 crore).
The release further stated that these 2 sets of declarations, which were never included in the figures taken on record, were later investigated, and now, had been rejected since they were suspicious. Hence the Rs 2 lakh crores and the Rs 13860 crores (which Chidambaram referred to) were never included in the Rs 65000 odd crores (which Chidambaram referred to)
As such, since they were never included, the rejection of these figures has no effect on the original figure of Rs 65000 odd crores. Thus India’s former Finance Minister was grossly wrong in stating that there was a Rs 13860 crores hole in the IDS scheme.
It actually doesn’t take a genius to figure this out because Rs 213860 crores (the total value of the declarations rejected) is far more than the total IDS figure taken on record i.e. Rs 67382 crores. Even a school student will tell you CANNOT subtract Rs 213860 crores from Rs 67382 crores. But sadly Mr Chidambaram did not get this small bit of logic.
And this man was our Finance Minister!!!!