Fin Min busts myths circulating via social media

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New Delhi: The Finance Ministry has been dispelling myths, rubbishing scare-mongers and tackling detractors’ propaganda since the night Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Indian currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 will no longer be legal tenders. Besides Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s effort to address the concerns of the people through different television news channels, the ministry, through Twitter, is rubbishing false claims made on social media by the detractors of the government.

Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Shaktikanta Das has been addressing Press conferences to clarify doubts and bust the myths, too.

Even as the queues in front of ATM installations and banks were getting shorter by the day, some mischievous elements had begun scaring the people by circulating a message via WhatsApp that the prime minister was soon going to address the nation through a televised speech once again, this time to declare that Rs 50 and Rs 100 notes would not remain valid either. The ministry today pooh-poohed the idea and clarified that the government had no plans to annul the legal tender of any other currency.

The ministry further rubbished the allegation that sections of the ruling party BJP and the government had been aware of the demonetisation decision before it was announced on 8 November, giving them enough time to take care of their own reserves of stacks of notes that were about to turn trash. It said that very few even among the policy makers knew of the impending strike on black money.

This validates the story सिर्फ़ News had broken about how the prime minister had turned up for the Cabinet meeting just for 5 min to avoid disagreements and arguments, and then rushed to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to honour the other protocol of keeping President Pranab Mukherjee in the loop.

The Finance Ministry also dealt with the contention that the cost incurred in the entire exercise of demonetisation surpassed the gains from it by tweeting that the unaccounted money in the form of cash of high denomination notes was much larger. We have reported earlier that the undeclared amount suspected to be in some people’s reserves was to the tune of Rs 14 lakh crore – Rs 18 lakh crore.

Next, the ministry busted the myth that the new Rs 2,000 notes had tracking chips installed in them. It called the idea an imagination of some fertile minds.

The government has also assured the honest citizens that no tricks applied by black money hoarders would work as the law enforcement agencies were apprised of all possible tactics of diversion and conversion of money and were keeping a track of such transactions.

Furthermore, the ministry explained that the new Rs 2,000 notes did not normally release its paint. These notes were printed, it said, using the Intaglio technology that enabled a bearer to verify their authenticity by rubbing the surface of the note with a piece of cloth. On doing so, he said, the note created a turbo-electric effect, releasing some colour to the cloth.

Finally, the ministry said that there was no proposal to either seal lockers or seize people’s jewellery.

One of the tweets by the Finance Ministry's official handle