Chandigarh, December 22: Here is a bitter experience of a small kirana shopkeeper in City Beautiful who tried to provide relief to the cashless customers by opting for cashless payments via one such portal of which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been the poster boy.
As the amount crossed Rs 50,000, he asked for the payment. He was in for a shock. He was told that the payment would be made after a month and that too after deducting 2 per cent as service charge. He has discontinued the ‘facility’. For the shopkeeper, here is a loss of 2 per cent for going cashless. In a way, it is Modi Cess. This is the cost of the cashless economy that Modi has been stridently advocating. Of course, it would make some people millionaires who are running these companies providing so called cashless transactions. However, somebody has to pay for that. At the time when demand is going down, the shopkeeper can’t even raise the price by 2 per cent to offset the service charge. Hail Modi.
Ironically, the common man, although a sufferer, is still under the illusion that demonitisation is a big step targeted at money bags, without realising that that it is he who is the victim. The money bags would turn bigger at his cost. That is Modi’s economics to end black money. The currency squeeze is unlikely to ease in the coming days going by the bankers.
Both Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi are now in people’s court on the issue of Notebandi and corruption. Rahul is resorting to the same strategy minus histrionics as Modi. Modi did not face Parliament but continues to blame the Congress for not allowing him to speak. However, the facts are different. It was the opposition that pressed for debate and that too unconditional. It was the BJP that turned disruptive as the opposition pressed for unconditional debate.
Former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh had made a brief and effective intervention in the Rajya Sabha on demonitisation and that same view has been echoed by almost every known economist in the country. However, Modi tried to ridicule him today during his election rally. He should have responded in Rajya Sabha.
Resorting to Modi’s strategy, Rahul has come up with corruption allegations against Modi. The documents were submitted to the Supreme Court earlier and relate to certain payments aggregating Rs 40 crore made to one ‘Modiji’ at different dates by Sahara and another company. BJP spokespersons continue to rake up issues like Bofors to attack the Gandhi family despite the fact that the Supreme Court did not find any merit in the allegations against Rajiv Gandhi.
Modi has one big advantage and that is of the propaganda machine of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and its affiliates like various foundations working in different field. These bodies specialise in unleashing convincing falsehood. Earlier it was black money stashed abroad and now it is black money within the country. Modi failed miserably in the first task of bringing back black money. Now Notebandi is getting exposed. However, the common man is still hoping against hope, such is the propaganda by Sangh Parivar bodies. Modi’s theatrics add spice to this propaganda attack.
Modi had succeeded in convincing the people in the run up to the Lok Sabha election that every leader in the opposition party was corrupt and that Dr Manmohan Singh shielded the corrupt if he himself was not corrupt. There were scandals that got exposed one after another during the second term of the UPA government. However, one does not know what has been the end result of those exposures.
It is for the first time that Modi himself has come under attack on the issue of corruption. He himself should have offered the charges to be probed to prove that he is all white. However, he has launched counterattack.
One has to go back to the slogan of Digital India given by Modi after becoming the Prime Minister. Digital India was part of the Notebandi strategy. Cashless economy would enrich a few companies putting additional burden on the cashless people.
The small shopkeeper is still to come out of the shock of opting for cashless transaction experience.