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“废钞令”发布两年之后,印度无现金社会发展状况如何?

日期:2019-9-27(原创文章,禁止转载)

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On the night of Nov. 8, 2016, there was a surprise announcement on Indian television. In a live telecast to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that the country’s two highest-denomination currency note随州哪家治癫痫医院好s (Rs 1,000 and Rs 500) would be withdrawn immediately from the market. The plan, termed d荆门治儿童癫痫那里好emonetization by the press, was planned in secrecy and announced dramatically, as Modi’s masterstroke against black money.

As economic experiments go, it was a big, bold move. There was no precedent, anywhere in the world, for a sudden economic shock of this scale. The withdrawn notes, amounting to US$320 billion at the time, represented 86 percent of the total currency value in circulation in India. By making the notes worthless almost overnight, the government hoped to destroy large piles of black money hidden away by tax evaders. In addition, the government claimed the plan would strike a major blow against corruption and counterfeiting and would kick-start India’s transition into a digital, cashless world. In a country with a huge informal economy, dependent on cash transactions, demonetization was a big political gamble, too.

The immediate fallout was chaos, as the country scrambled to cope. There was a rush at banks and ATMs to exchange old notes and withdraw new currency. Queues at banks grew; many people suffered, especially the poor, who had no access to credit cards or mobile wallets; and dozens of deaths resulting from the crisis were reported.

Two years later, the dust has settled, and it has become 武汉哪家治癫痫专业obvious that demonetization was not the resounding success the government expected it to be. India’s black money problem has not gone away. The economy has taken a beating, huge financial losses have been incurred, and the marginalized poor, least able to withstand adversity, have been negatively affected. There have been some gains in tax collections, and the country has progressed toward digital payments, but these advances could have been achieved through other, less drastic means.

For countries tackling black money or promoting a cashless economy, India’s experience with demonetization provides rich lessons. Although the long-term social, economic, and political consequences of demonetization are still playing out in India, answers to many complex questions are now apparent.

What Happened to the Black Money?

Economists who supported demonetization predicted that black money hoarders would destroy their stashes rather than declare them, thus delivering a bottom-line bonanza to the country. But in August 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’西安如何治疗癫痫好s central bank, confirmed that 99.3 percent of the demonetized notes had been returned to the banks. Almost nothing was extinguished.

Clearly, assumptions proved to be far from reality. Unlike portrayals in Bollywood films, it appeared that big tax evaders had not stashed away bundles of cash, but more likely held their money in real estate, gold, and Swiss bank accounts. Whatever was held in cash found its way back into the banking system. The press reported that the wealthy sold their currency at discounted rates to money-laundering intermediaries, who then deposited the notes into the banking system through the accounts of low-income Indians. Ultimately, the RBI did not receive any windfall. Instead, the cost of printing lower-denomination notes and managing the demonetization exercise put a sizeable dent in the central bank’s coffers, reducing its annual dividend to 46 percent of what it paid the government the previous year. There was very little counterfeit currency detected among the notes returned.

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