When demonetisation was announced and Narendra Modi was being credited with a ‘surgical strike’ on black money, Pune resident Anil Bokil and his think-tank –ArthaKranti Pratishthan — went to town about his nine-minute meeting with Modi in July, which stretched to two hours, and inspired the move.
Now, when the country has been forced to queue up outside banks and mostly defunct ATMs, Bokil blames the mess on the government using his advice “selectively”. He told Mirror that he was on his way to Delhi for a meeting with the prime minister on Tuesday. There was no confirmation of this from PMO, though. Here’s what he has to say, on what went wrong during the ‘surgical strike’ on black money.
The proposal I placed before the PM was a comprehensive one and had five aspects. However, the government chose to use only two of them. It was a sudden move, not well-thought-out. The move cannot be welcomed or rejected. We are compelled to accept it. The road map we gave the government would not have caused such pain.
WE HAD SUGGESTED:
1: Complete abolition of taxes, direct and indirect by the Central or State governments and also the local bodies.
2: The taxes were to be replaced with Bank Transaction Tax (BTT), wherein every inward bank transaction would attract a levy (say about two per cent). It would be a single point tax deducted at source. – The deducted amount would go into the government kitties at various levels (Centre, State and Local, broken up in perhaps a ratio of 0.7 per cent, 0.6 per cent and 0.35 per cent, respectively). The concerned bank will also get a share of say another 0.35 per cent. Of course, the BTT rate would be decided by the finance ministry and Reserve Bank of India.
3: Cash transactions (withdrawals) would not attract tax.
4: All high denomination currency (anything above Rs 50) should be withdrawn.
5: Government should create legal provision to restrict cash transactions to Rs 2,000.
If all these were done together, it would have not only benefitted the common man but also changed the system completely.
We did not expect the death we are witnessing. But the government announced the operation without using anaesthesia, so patients are bound to lose their lives. We have been working on this proposal for 16 years, since ArthaKranti was formed in 2000. A 16-member technical committee had come up with the proposal and guaranteed that not a single person would be affected. The move would be targeted only on eradicating black money and terrorism and also end ransom-linked crimes. It would have affected property prices and also impacted the GDP.
Now we are also proposing to withdraw the Rs 2000 notes the government has brought in. This was just a diversion. The main operation is yet to happen.