Protesters Across India Rail Against Country-Wide Cash Crunch
Nov 29 2016 by Desiree Burns
In his first monthly radio address after demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged small businesses and workers to embrace cashless transaction through mobile banking and plastic money.
The Indian government's withdrawal of the notes from circulation means NRIs and British Indians with rupees brought back to the United Kingdom would be required to fly to India to exchange their currency before the December 30 deadline. There was mention about black money, but the core of the talk was change to a cashless economy.
Economists say that the lack of new notes in circulation will affect growth.
Some 25,000 people took to the streets of the eastern Indian city of Kolkata on Monday to protest at a government ban on high-denomination banknotes, which critics say has had a highly disruptive impact on people's lives in an economy operating nearly entirely on cash.
He said people's support was the fountainhead of his confidence even if they were inconvenienced by the move.
"Blinded by the arrogance of numbers, Narendra Modi is unable to fathom the pain and anger of Indias 125 crore people for wiping out their livelihood and creating a colossal sense of fear and insecurity".
Amit Shah, the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, to which Modi belongs, said the opposition are merely opposing everything Modi is doing. It is correct that we can not achieve it immediately.
"More importantly, if you could teach a push-cart vendor or your vegetable vendor, there is no reason we cannot move towards a cashless India".
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Experts say the move was a contributing factor to the rupee hitting an all-time low of 68.8625 rupees against the dollar on Thursday, although the main reason was an expected U.S. rate rise next month.
"Foreign investors are waiting to see how the demonetisation drive will play out in the near term".
Farmers in the country are vital axis of the economy.
Modi, who won a landslide election victory in 2014 on a promise to tackle endemic corruption, has strongly defended his move, which still enjoys widespread popular support.
He asked the public to participate in a survey where a number of questions have been posed with regard to scrapping of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.
In a speech on Friday the prime minister urged ordinary Indians to stick with him, promising that "the new notes will come" and saying the scheme would root out corruption and tax evasion.