The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament can call Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of demonetisation if it is not satisfied with the answers given by top finance ministry officials and RBI Governor Urjit Patel, to whom a detailed questionnaire has been sent.
A PAC meeting on this issue has been called on January 20th, in which the RBI Governor Urjit Patel, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das will be present.
“We have not yet received answers for the questions we sent them. They will reply a few days before the meeting on January 20. Their replies will be discussed in detail,” PAC Chairman and senior Congress leader KV Thomas told PTI.
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Asked if the PAC would call the Prime Minister if replies were not satisfactory, he said, “The committee has all the right to call anybody involved in the matter. But that will depend on the outcome of the January 20th meeting. We can call PM on the issue of demonetisation if members unanimously decide so.”
PM FAILED HIS 50-DAY PROMISE
In a meeting with the PM after the demonetisation announcement was made on November 8, Thomas said, “I had met him and he said that the situation will be normal after 50 days by December-end. But it does not look like that has happened.”
So, the PAC decided to call top officials involved in the decision-making process this month, he said, adding that demonetisation had impacted the country’s economy.
“The PM is misleading the country to satisfy his ego. He is trying to justify his wrong decisions. Introduction of Rs 2,000 notes has been a callous move”, he said.
“In a country where there is a call drop problem and telecom facilities are not smooth, how can the Prime Minister expect e-transactions to take place on mobiles. Do we have sufficient infrastructure?” he asked.
Asked what kind of questionnaire had been sent to the RBI chief and top finance ministry officials, Thomas said that the PAC had raised questions on all aspects of demonetisation.
Among key questions sought are — Who were involved in decision-making, how much money has come back into banks after demonetisation, is there a law that can restrict people’s access to their money, how much money has been pumped back into the system, whether the black money issue has been addressed and what has the move’s impact been on the economy and the poor.The PAC, which scrutinises the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), takes suo motu note of important matter.