The Bihar Post

Demonetisation: Cashless economy not good for India, says economist Jean Dreze


PATNA: Prominent economist Jean Dreze has said cashless economy is not good for a country like India.

“Talks of cashless economy are simply useless in a country like India where majority the people is illiterate and has no access to internet facility,” said Dreze, a Belgian-born Indian development economist.

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He made this observation while participating in a public hearing on currency ban organized by the Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist in Patna on Friday.

Listing demerits of such move, Dreze said ban on cash transaction would force the unorganised sector to go to malls which apparently would destroy the small shops.

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“The Narendra Modi government is surely not working in the interest of common men,” said Dreze, a development economist who conceptualised and drafted the first version of Mahata Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

MGNREGA was launched by the previous United Progressive Alliance government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The ruling Narendra Modi government scrapped high value currency notes in the denominations of Rs1000 and Rs500 for what it said will curb black money and stop terror funding, forcing the people to stand in long queues before the banks and ATMs.

Federal finance minister Arun Jaitley, however, claimed on Friday that the recall of high value notes would cause just three months of disruptions before yielding substantial benefits for Indian economy.

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