Think of the human impact from this lost growth - the lost jobs, the youth whose opportunities have vanished, the businesses who had to shut down and the entrepreneurs whose drive to succeed has turned into discouraged disappointment, ' he said.
Tearing into the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said the "attitude" of suspecting everyone to be a thief or anti-national just because they don't agree with you is "damaging to democratic discourse".
Also, SEBI had introduced a Graded Surveillance Measure at stock exchanges.The Finance Minister said demonetisation appeared to have led to acceleration in financialization of savings.
India grew at a modest 5.7 percent in the most recent quarter, triggering fears of a slowdown.
Opposition parties are observing "black day" on Wednesday.
Addressing the media in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, a day ahead of the first anniversary of demonetisation, Singh said November 8 was a "black day" for the economy and democracy. The Gujarat Congress in its release had informed that the former Prime Minister, during his visit, is scheduled to hold an interactive session on the current state of the economy with businessmen and traders. I remember feeling shocked when I heard the Prime Minister's announcement, and I wondered who advised him to inflict such a reckless step on our nation, and whether any considered thought went into it'.
Mounting a powerful defense of the demonetisation measure created to curb black money, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said that note ban can not be a one-stop solution to cleanse all corruption, but it did give a "new direction" to economic and financial decisions.
During his speech, he said that none of the stated objectives of eliminating black money, terror financing and counterfeit currency have been met.
The Finance Minister said one of the important objectives of demonetisation was "to make India a less-cash economy and thereby reduce the flow of black money in the system".
Dr Singh said that "demonetisation was clearly not the way to end the menace of tax evasion and black money". The fact that more than 99 per cent of the demonetised currency came back into the banking system, has punctured the government's claims. He further informed that though the Modi government claims to have got back black money in the banks, there are also wide spread reports of the rich converting their black money into white money., while the poor have undergone vast suffering.
Singh said, "Demonetisation was an attack on the independence and credibility of the RBI as an institution". "The twin blows of demonetisation and GST have affected Indian economy", said Singh, citing figures to explain how imports from China have increased tremendously in the last fiscal. "Instead of providing relief to the poor and the marginalized farmers, traders and small and medium businesses, the government chose to inflict on them a badly designed and hastily implemented GST". Even this is underestimated as the pain of the informal sector has not even been calculated, he added. Every one per cent loss of GDP costs our nation Rs 1.5 lakh crore.
Despite his criticism of government's handling of the economy, the former prime minister said he was in favour of the recently announced plan to recapitalise banks.