A staggering Rs 3,118 crores mysteriously found their way to these banks according to a document released in a press conference todayAn RTI reply had last week sensationally revealed that a cooperative bank in Gujarat with BJP President Amit Shah as a director, had collected the highest volume of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that were abruptly demonetised on 8 November, 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Even today, according to the website of the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB), Shah continues to remain its director raising serious conflict of interest given his proximity to the finance ministry as the president of the ruling party. Shah is still being described one of the directors of the cooperative bank. (see below). He was also the bank’s chairman in 2000. ADCB’s total deposits on March 31, 2017, were Rs 5,050 crore and its net profit for 2016-17 was Rs 14.31 crore. Congress President Rahul Gandhi too tweeted using a catchy hashtag #ShahZyadaKhaGaya (Amit Shah has eaten too much), “Congratulations Amit Shah ji , Director, Ahmedabad Dist. Cooperative Bank, on your bank winning 1st prize in the conversion of old notes to new race. 750 Cr in 5 days! Millions of Indians whose lives were destroyed by Demonetisation, salute your achievement.”
Soon #ShahZyadaKhaGaya became a top national trend on Twitter yesterday.
Another branch with a BJP minister as its chairman received the deposit of Rs 693.19 crore in the same period. The Rajkot District Cooperative Bank has Jayeshbhai Vitthalbhai Radadiya, a cabinet minister in Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s government, has its chairman.
According to the AICC press release that may be read here, these are the links:
1. Surat District Co-operative Bank Ltd. which received ₹369.85 Cr
Director- Shri Prabhubhai Nagarbhai Vasava, BJP MP (Lok Sabha) from Bardoli
Chairman is Shri Nareshbhai Patel, a prominent BJP leader.
2. Sabarkantha District Central Cooperative Bank Ltd. – which received ₹328.50 Cr
Directors- Shri Rajendrasinh Ranjitsinh Chavada, BJP MLA from Himatnagar and
Shri Praful Khoda Patel, Former MoS Home in the BJP Govt of Gujarat and is now
appointed by Modi ji as Administrator of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
Chairman is Shri Maheshbhai Amichandbhai Patel is a BJP leader.
3. Banaskantha District Central Co-operative Bank Ltd- which received ₹295.30 Cr
Director- Shri Shankar Chaudhary, Former Minister of State for Urban Housing, Health,
Family Welfare and Transport in the earlier BJP Government of Gujarat and General
Secretary of the Gujarat BJP. Chairman is Shri M L Chaudhary, a BJP leader.
4. Mehsana District Central Co-operative Bank Ltd received ₹215.44 Cr
This bank is controlled by Deputy CM, Shri Nitin Patel through registrar. Elections due.
5. Amreli Jilla Madyastha Sahkari Bank Ltd. which received ₹205.31 Cr
Chairman- Shri Dileepbhai Sanghani, Former BJP MP & Former Cabinet Minister in
the BJP Gujarat Govt and is presently appointed by Modi ji as Vice Chairman, NAFED
6. The Bharuch District Central Co-operative Bank Ltd received ₹98.86 Cr
Chairman is Shri Arunsinh Rana, BJP MLA
7. Baroda Central Co-operative Bank Ltd received ₹76.38Cr
Director, who controls the Bank, is Shri Satishbhai Patel, BJP MLA and Chairman is Shri
Atulbhai Patel, BJP leader
8. Junagarh Jill Sahakari Bank Ltd received ₹59.98 Cr
Chairman is Shri Jashabhai Barad, Ex Cabinet Minister in BJP Govt & a prominent BJP
9. Panchmahals District Co-operative Bank Ltd. received ₹ 30.12 Cr
This bank is controlled by Former BJP MP, Shri Gopalsinh Solanki through registrar.Elections due.
Rajkot is also believed to be a hub of Gujarat BJP politics as PM Modi was first elected from there as a legislator in 2001. “The amount of deposits made in the State Cooperative Banks (SCBs) and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) — revealed under RTI for first time since demonetisation — are astounding,” Manoranjan S. Roy, the RTI activist who made the effort to get the information was quoted by IANS.
Yesterday, just before the Congress held its press conference, National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development, also known as NABARD, issued a statement, saying that the average deposit amount in the Ahmedabad DCCB was Rs 46,795 per account holder, which it said was lower than the average per depositor in 18 DCCBs of Gujarat, reported PTI. NABARD is the country’s apex financing agency for institutions that promote rural development.
Using the the NABARD statement, the BJP clarified that the Ahmedabad DCCB was one of the biggest in the country and that it was not out of the ordinary for it to collect such an amount, added PTI report. However the fact that the BJP is feeling compelled to respond to allegations speaks of how the political discourse is turning.
Demonetisation: A Modi-Made Disaster (AICC Press Note)
On November 8th, 86% of India’s currency was nullified in an effort to clean out “black money” and “counterfeit notes”; this effort resulted in a massive disruption to the existing social, political and economic functions of the world’s second largest emerging market. All 500 and 1,000 rupee notes were instantaneously voided, and a 50-day period ensued where the population could (ideally) redeem their cancelled cash for freshly issued 2,000 and later 500 rupee notes or deposit them into their respective bank accounts.
In the ensuing days after Demonetization, the public in general was hit quite bad, but it was the poor who took the largest share of pain. The poor and the lower middle-classes that constitute the vast majority of the population, simply did not have the access to structural and cultural resources needed to adapt to such shock economics.
Even the banks, debuted to do all the heavy lifting on the ground, weren’t kept in the loop; ill-equipped for the crisis and unable to make sense of an outlandish government order, they still managed to do a remarkable job despite not even having an adequate supply of new notes to balance out the nullified currency. With 86% of existing cash that was in circulation having been demonetized, the Indian Economy came to a sudden, screeching halt.
Trade across all facets of the economy was disrupted, and cash-centric sectors like agriculture, fishing, and the voluminous informal market, were virtually shut-down. Many businesses and livelihoods went under completely, not to mention the economic impact to the country when you have millions of productive people just standing in line for hours and hours, just to exchange or deposit cancelled banknotes, rather than working or running their businesses.
Even the undeclared emergency in the newsrooms failed to contain the news spreading like wildfire throughout India: Demonetisation was a colossal and completely avoidable failure and the largest government-abetted money laundering scheme in history.
Demonetisation failed to curb black money as 99% of the withdrawn 500 and 1000 rupee notes were returned, according to the RBI. This was expected as black money isn’t usually stored in currency, but property, bullion and more easily convertible currency like dollars. Thus, the dichotomy between ‘Black Money’ and ‘Black Wealth’: one is a flow variable and one is stock variable. And no amount of demonetization can bring about any change in stock variables. The claims of unearthing large amounts of black money are unfounded and based on a naïve and uninformed view of what actually constitutes black money.
Furthermore, the announcement failed to stem any sort of terror attacks and insurgency as there were 23 more attacks in Kashmir alone after the announcement. There were numerous reports of insurgents caught with large hordes of new currency on the Indian border.
The extent of circulation of counterfeit notes in the Indian economy is exaggerated. A special report carried out by the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata, found out that the circulation of counterfeit currency was about Rs. 400 crore i.e. a mere 0.022%, of the total notes in circulation; simply not worth the 2% damage to India’s GDP growth.
It failed to produce a cashless economy as whatever rise in e-commerce sales took place during that period, returned to the same growth trend-line as before in a matter of few months, when cash supply was finally normalised. Considering the extent of the Indian unorganized sectors, it was simply illogical to even attempt digitalisation before creating an alternate payment infrastructure.
As a result of this catastrophic move, 3 lakh crore rupees in national income was lost; a conservative estimate given the informal cash-based economy accounts for nearly 50% of GDP or 65.25 lakh crore rupees. Some bank managers grew rich from the haircuts they took on people’s hard-earned money, quickly forming a sophisticated and organised money laundering racket. Meanwhile, a 115 people died as a direct result of the ‘note-bandi’—almost all were poor. Even after the supportive mainstream media declared demonetisation a failure, PM Modi has still not been able to bring himself to condole with their bereaved families or pay them any compensation for the loss of in many cases, their primary breadwinners.
The demonetisation move represents not just a faulty economic policy but also holds high potential for indiscriminate state surveillance, violation of privacy and abuse of civil liberties, with the replacement of cash payments with digital payment systems. With big data analytics growing bigger day by day, personal data of private citizens have turned into commodities on the grey markets, that may result in a breakdown of basic social-contracts and trust between the state and its citizens.
The end truth is, the Prime Minister expected to make a tidy profit of 4 lakh crores from dispossessing those who weren’t able to exchange their notes. Instead, 21,000 crore rupees of our tax money was squandered on printing notes, while only 16,000 crores were left unclaimed.
The entire text of the AICC Document may be read here.