The demonetisation of November 2016 will go down in history as one of the most intensely debated economic policy interventions of the Indian state. With the abolition of the legal tender status of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, about 86 per cent of the currency in circulation stood withdrawn from circulation in the economy. The purpose, according to the government, was to stamp out counterfeit currency, unearth black money and usher in a less-cash economy.
This work analyses in detail the conception and implementation of demonetisation, its impact on different spheres of the economy and sections of the people and various claims of the government vis-à-vis demonetisation. It tries to locate the two demonetisations of 1978 and 2016 within the broader questions of tax evasion and the generation and storage of black money in India over the last six decades. It has a comprehensive introduction, supported by writings from the archives of the Economic and Political Weekly.
About the Author
R. Ramakumar is professor and dean at the School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India.