The nation is in the middle of a drastic change, due to the recent announcement made by our beloved PM Shri Narendra Modi Ji to ban 500 and 1000 Rupees notes. For once, the common man is not complaining even though he has to take the trouble of queuing of standing for long hours outside ATMs waiting his turn to collect that valuable cash.
I am sure that you may be aware of Chacha Chaudhary, the “Aam Aadmi” whose brain works faster than a computer. Chacha Chaudhary is the quintessential common man, yet he is different, since he is always ready with a trick or two under his sleeve and always manages to get the better of his opponents. Cynics may argue that he is always helped in his crusades by Sabu, the man from the planet Jupiter, but the fact remains that it is always the Chacha’s guile which is the de facto reason why crises are averted.
What would be going through Chacha Chaudhary’s mind, if he were to be alive? What would be his take on this issue? We will never know. But I am still going to try, anyway. I apologize in advance, since I have taken some liberties and did not mean it, if you felt offended. Read on and let me know your views/comments.
The Honorable Prime Minister of India
7, Lok Kalyan Marg, New Delhi, India
Subject : Open Letter to Narendra Modi on the issue of Black Money
I am sorry to have called you Narendra and not Modi ji or Narendra Bhai. You see, I am quite an elderly person now and I feel that I can take the liberty to call you by your first name. First and foremost on my mind, let me congratulate you on your decision to ban the 500 Rs and the 1000 Rs Currency Notes. This is indeed a bold move and it will go a long way in weeding out the gangrene from our society that is corruption.
I have seen a lot of governments come and go, but you are the first to take the fight to this unseen, yet very strong opponent.
Narendra, in many ways, you remind me of myself in my youth. Of Course, I never rose to attain the stature which you have attained; people still respected me in my time. I was reputed to have a brain which worked faster than a computer. Of Course, gone are those days now. I now had to dictate this letter to some-one, since I can’t write myself, due to old age. I have seen you over the two years your government has been in power and your attempts to weed out corruption from our society. I was impressed, that on the second day itself you had created a Special Investigation Team to investigate the black money which was stashed abroad in Swiss Banks.
I empathized with you when all your detractors criticized you when there were no instant results. I empathize with you as well, since, a lot of people are still criticizing you over this harsh decision.
Narendra, be strong, these are testing times and I believe that the people of this country are with you, so you should not fear the road ahead. The people of this country are ready to walk with you.
Of Course, there will be detractors who will not understand the vision behind this decision. They will not understand the simple logic that the government now has collected upwards of 2 trillion rupees or US $ 30 billion in 7 days! This is just more than the Annual GDP of Croatia and just less than the GDP of Oman. Of-course I also feel amused to listen to anecdotes about people putting their sacs full of money on fire or drowning them in the Ganges! All of this money can be now used for the development of our country by building roads, dams, bridges, waterways and airports.
Narendra, let me also compliment you for a lesser known project of the National Highway Grid which will divide our country into 27 different sectors by criss-crossing vertical and horizontal highways. You can use the 25,000 Crore of rupees required for the project. Do not be surprised! I keep up with the news, too. Good roads are like cholesterol free arteries, they can help in efficient transportation by reducing fuel costs and delay in making available goods and services, thus averting an economic heart attack. If we add the GST equation into this, we are looking at an unprecedented economic miracle in the next decade.
I now realize that you want to make India a self-sufficient and self-sustaining automatic money making machine – I think this comes from your experience as a tea seller and having closely understood how money circulates in our society. I also understand your vision that even the humble chai wala should come inside the banking system.
Can I take one more liberty? I want to give you some more tips in your fight against black money. These are just common sense tips but I am sure they will help you – however, these are also tips that will definitely evoke controversy.
1) All the Developed Economies of the world do not have a high denomination currency greater than 100. Going forward, can we make the 100 Rs note only as the legal tender? I know this is really tough, but if you do this, then black money will be drastically reduced. Of Course the challenge is the cost to the government for producing this note will be high initially, but as more and more transactions turn cashless, this will be prove to be a boon.
2) Centers of Economic Development: I know that your government is already in the process of rolling out the smart cities project, but your government should now concentrate more on this. All the developed economies of the world have more than 10 developed cities. Considering the size of our country, I think we should have at-least 50 cities which are developed. By Developed, I mean, developed public transport system, easy availability of utilities and sophisticated infrastructure.
3) Proliferation of Cashless Payment Terminals all across the country : Most of the transactions at the lower strata of our country are in cash. If we make available cashless payment terminals available and mandatory, then your government can also collect valuable tax revenue from these transactions.
4) We frown at activities like prostitution – however, this is often a source of black money. I would like you to use your judgment in tackling this. You may like to study what countries like the Netherlands or Thailand have done in this regard.
5) Concentration on High Quality Exports. Your government should act as a salesman and help in developing client states (this is what the developed countries do, as well). This will also help in ensuring a steady stream of revenue for the country.
6) Develop Trading partnership with countries ensuring a steady market for the goods made in India.
There are also a lot of activities which your government can do in weeding out corruption, but I believe if we do these activities properly, our battle is half won. I sincerely believe that the people of our country will grant you one more term to continue as the “Pradhan Sevak” of our country. May you get the strength, which you will surely need to weed out this menace from the country. If you need some advice, do not hesitate to reach out to me, who knows, something may come out from this old computer?