Ever since the initiation of a series of governmental measures to demonetize high value currencies of Rs. 500 & Rs. 1000 on November 8th 2016, there has been a lot of debate around the cost-benefit of the same. Institute for Sustainable Development and Governance felt the need to set up a public platform for debate and discussion on the merits and demerits of demonetization. Accordingly, a panel discussion for the public on this issue of demonetization with special focus on Kerala economy on November 25th, 2016, at Press Club, Trivandrum.
In an event that featured four invited distinguished academicians, Dr. K.N Gangadharan initiated the discussion by drawing a comparative analysis between nations that have initiated demonetization and India’s efforts to do the same. He went on to describe the exercise and impractical and unscientific as its socio-economic cost will overburden the limited merits attached to it.
Dr. K.V. Velayudhan, urged the general public to be more aware of substantial and procedural legality of steps that lead up to demonetization. Prof. Siddiq Rabiyath was articulative about the larger philosophy of executive excess in play as state is being used by the executive as a laboratory of democracy. Mr. S. Sreekumar, a representative of Bank Employees Federation of India was vocal about the potential injustices arose out of the haphazard execution of the plan such as loss of wages, humanitarian costs and the loss of trust due to pegging back on promises.
The debate ended on a positive note by lauding the efforts of central and state governments to catapult Kerala towards becoming India’s first complete digital state in 2015 after it achieved 100 percent mobile density, 75 percent e-literacy, highest digital banking rate and broadband connection up to panchayat level.