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India’s Digital Transactions Spike After Failed Demonetization

When the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP led government announced on Nov 8, 2016 a de-monetization drive that banned the use of 1,000 and 500 rupee notes it caused chaos in a nation of 1.3 billion people. The demonetization drive was supposed to crackdown on black money and encourage the nation to go cashless and adopt digital payments.

Digital payment operators in the country witnessed a significant spike in the number of digital transactions in early 2017 and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which is the country’s central bank reported that card transactions had more than doubled since demonetization to reach 2.75 times the usual amount.

However PM Modi and his government made a number of implementation mistakes which inconvenienced the common man and disrupted his daily life.

The Times of India

PM Modi asked India to be patient and said that in a year’s time, they would be able to see the positives brought out by demonetization. Now that a year has passed since demonetization, there appears to be very little positives for the common man. Reports suggest that the number of digital transaction which spiked once the demonetization drive was announced has now once again dropped to usual levels.

The RBI and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) reported that 94.6 lakh crore digital transactions took place in November 2016. This number jumped significantly to 149.58 lakh crore in March 2017 but then started to drop significantly. There were 109.60 lakh crore digital transactions in April 2017, dropping further to 107.38 lakh crore in July 2018 and falling to 99.28 lakh crore in October 2017.

PM Modi and his BJP led government has faced criticism from opposition parties, sections of the media as well as the common man who felt inconvenienced and let down by the poor implementation of the demonetization drive. These results after 12 months also prove that it was more of a failure than a success in retrospect.

In a statement, Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal said

Demonetisation is a big scam. Demonetisation was not to combat black money. It was only to convert black money into white money for vested interests of political party in power. Black money became ‘white fund’ for them and the country was plunged into darkness.

A number of political parties in India took to the streets on November 8 and labelled it as a Black Day in the country’s history. Rahul Gandhi from the Congress Party called the demonetization drive a tragedy which destroyed the livelihoods and lives of millions of Indians due to the thoughtless act carried out by the Narendra Modi government.

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