Live Blog: Subramanian Swamy in Manipal7 min read
1455: With the hot afternoon setting in, we welcome you to the live coverage of the Diamond Jubilee Lecture series organised by the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT). Subramanian Swamy will address the gathering on the Impact of Demonetization on the Indian Economy.
This is Anirban Paul and Shivani Singh, reporters for The Manipal Journal, here to update you going live for the third time, a week after the keynote address delivered by Dr. Shashi Tharoor at the Teenovators competition.
We are also live with Twitter updates.
1500: On November 8, 2016, after the Modi government announced the demonetization of the 500 and the 1000 rupee note to curb the menace of black money and counterfeit currency, the move sparked strong reactions. As the government pushes for a cashless economy in a highly cash-dependent country, Subramanian Swamy, an influential leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, an economist and also a member of the Rajya Sabha will shortly be here to deliberate on the impacts of the move brought about by his party.
Stay tuned for more updates.
1505: A good round of applause rings around the Quadrangle as Subramanian Swamy makes his way through to the stage accompanied by dignitaries and officials of Manipal University and MIT.
1510: Dr. Gopalkrishna Prabhu, the ever popular director of MIT, is delivering the welcome address and announces the opening of the Diamond Jubilee Lecture series as a part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of MIT.
1515:“Every year we ask the students, whose lecture do you want to listen to and every time Subramanian Swamy’s name was on the top,” says Dr. Gopalkrishna Prabhu. That sounds a little familiar.
1525: Subramanian Swamy takes to the stage and wastes no time in getting to the topic of his talk.
“A successful policy has four stages: objective, priority, strategy to achieve the objectives according to the priorities and the necessary machinery and resources to execute the strategy,” begins Swamy, elucidating on the importance of demonetization by the NDA government.
1530: “Black money is not disclosed to anybody. What happens when I have black money and take a taxi, the man who takes the fare has legitimately earned that money. And now it becomes white money. In our country it sometimes become black and white and it is not a stock per se. Therefore we measure it proportionately as per transactions out of the accounting system. Nearly 40% of our GDP is black.”
1533: “The system of Soviet economy was introduced by Jawaharlal Nehru. Although it was opposed by Mahatma Gandhi but he did not listen. Jawaharlal Nehru never listened to anybody. Although sometimes he used to listen to Edwina Mountbatten.”
1537: “The abolition of quotas and licences by the P.V. Narasimha Rao government to tackle black money wasn’t taken too well and he lost to the Congress in the next elections. Touts were losing their share of black money by this abolition, hence the defeat.”
1540: “Our economy was much strong back then. Narasimha Rao was a great man we realise it now. People back then had a lot of problems with it. The newspapers also were as bad then as they are now. One thing we must know is when a reform is introduced the people must gain as quickly as the losers.”
1544: “One reason why we have so many complaints against Pakistan for our counterfeit currency is because we do not use our own paper for notes. Pakistan and India had imported the paper for currency from the same company. A certain Finance Minister, whose name I will not take, will go to jail soon because of this.”
1546: “Is demonetisation a successful scheme? It is not a bad measure but a badly planned one; it has not fully achieved its objective. One reason for that is probably because the officials of the Chidambaram ministry are still functioning.”
1550: “The damage is not just about standing in queues, feeling harassed or the move coinciding with the marriage season. It rather is a collateral damage faced by the several daily wage and migrant workers who had to return without wages. Because of the Soviet economic model, we had a terrible agriculture. We were almost on the verge of famine in 1965. Lal Bahadur Shashtri helped the farmers, eventually we had the Green Revolution and we never had to import food grains. I believe Indians respond very well to crisis, every ten years we must have one then.”
1555: “We have built magnificent roads for other countries. But when it comes to our country we cannot build roads because of corruption. There is so much of black money. We build huge mansions with marble and air conditioners, we spend huge money on marriages like the one we recently saw where Karnataka indulged in a gaudy marriage.”
1558: “Terrorists in the Kashmir valley, would burn down schools and pay the students to pelt stones. Throwing stones at Kashmir police was awarded with a 500 rupee note while aiming CRPF personnel was rewarded with a 1000 rupee note. Post 8 November, no stone pelting incident has taken place.”
1600: “Industrialists can do forward trading in agriculture. They dump your money using these strategies and prices shoot up. Artificial shortage is created. Where do they put this black money? In boxes, in bags and elsewhere. India is the only country which allows this thanks to our previous Finance Minister.”
1604: “Switzerland earns 2 percent from you and 4 percent from American bond markets via Indian black money. No wonder Switzerland is such a happy country especially happy with Indians. India is the only country which encourages participatory notes. All you need is an Indian passport. Even a terrorist can show that by paying 5oo rupees at Chandni Chowk in Delhi. A note which has no date, no security and no serial number is actually legal in India. A large part of our foreign investment is actually participatory notes. Even SEBI doesn’t question participatory note-holders. What a brilliant idea by the previous government!”
1609: “We must arrest Havala agents, some of which have influential relatives at the top and while others belong to the minority community and cry of the government being communal.
Everybody is cheating. They feel it is being a fool not to cheat. Being corrupt has its worth. People ask me why am I always going behind Sonia Gandhi and the others, and want them in jail. *crowd begins clapping* While some of you are clapping here some people are crying there.”
1612: “We must target the people at the top. I had done the same for Jayalalitha too although it was difficult because she was a friend. I had a student in Delhi for whom I wrote a recommendation letter and he got into Harvard. He passed out with flying colours and one fine day I find him to be in jail. The judge read letters he received in his defence. I said, he must be convicted because society looked up to him and he has betrayed them all.”
1614: “I highly recommend the abolition of Income Tax because 40% of it’s revenues goes abroad. There are about 2,762 commodities entitled to excise taxes but the first 21 goods comprise 92% of the revenue generated from this tax. Hence, the number of excise duty goods should be reduced.”
1617: “Service tax is the most idiotic tax I have heard of. The person who had introduced this should be taxed for the lowest IQ ever. But that was not our government. It was the previous government. One reason I was keen on sacking Raghuram Rajan was because he kept on raising interest rates which was allowing collapse of small and medium industries. The Prime Minister is a bold man and he went ahead with that. Although a lot of ladies did not like it because they thought he was handsome.”
1620: “Black money is detrimental to our economy. It spoils our security, it allows substandard goods and it allows a damage to the livelihood of people. One strict rational measure and all the people will fear from being dishonest. Thank you.”
With a huge round of applause Subramanian Swamy, acknowledges the crowd and takes his seat.
First Shashi Tharoor, now Subramaniam Swamy. The semester is off to an explosive start already. This is Anirban Paul and Shivani Singh, reporters for The Manipal Journal signing off.
Stay tuned as we follow this developing story.