Let spiked currency be valid till December 30: CPI-M

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) Saying the demonetisation had sparked a “crisis of gigantic proportions”, the CPI-M on Tuesday urged the government to let the spiked 500 and 1,000 rupees be legal tender till December 31.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist said the withdrawal of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes had led to “a total disruption of the payments and settlements system and has impacted all citizens in one way or the other”.

“In the rural areas, the crisis is much more grave,” it said in a statement. “Markets are closed in various places. People are unable to buy even bare essentials, life saving medicines.

“It has put at discomfort the vast mass of our people, most of who are outside of the banking and the non-cash economic system. These include, but not limited to, agricultural workers, fishermen, daily wage earners, vegetable vendors, truck drivers.”

The CPI-M said the demonetisation did not in any way address the four objects that Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined in his November 8 announcement: fighting black money, corruption, counterfeit currency and terrorist funding.

It said no effort had been made whatsoever to bring back the bulk of black money which was generated and stored in off-shore accounts in foreign currency.

“Cash constitutes only 6 per cent of the black economy. Also a study conducted on behalf of the National Investigation Agency by the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, has found that only 0.028 per cent of the currency withdrawn is counterfeit.

“Also, the basic avenues for money laundering through Participatory notes and diversions through tax havens remains untouched. There is no attempt to curb the roots of generation of black money such as in the real estate sector.”

The CPI-M said the “utter insincerity of the government in bringing back black money is revealed in its wariness to making public the names of those holding bank deposits and accounts in tax-havens and those refusing to return humongous loans from nationalised banks estimated at over Rs 11 lakh crores”.

It said that till all alternative arrangements like the availability of required currency notes and the recalibration of ATM machines were completed, people should be allowed to transact in 500 and 1,000 rupee notes till the time limit set by the government of December 30, 2016.