NEW DELHI: Defending the notes ban forcefully today, the government told the Supreme Court that it is “not sitting around doing nothing” and all the problems will be over in “10-15 days”.
There has not been a single case of social unrest, the government told the court, alleging “political overtones” in the arguments on petitions challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to ban Rs. 500 and 1,000 notes, which formed 86 per cent of the cash in circulation.
“The government is not sitting around doing nothing…In 10-16 days it will be all over,” said the Centre. Responding to the court’s questions, the government also said it would not be possible to have a stock of printed notes ready before the notes ban announcement as it would have defeated the purpose of secrecy.The court is hearing a batch of petitions that allege that the demonetization drive has left people facing a huge cash crisis because of the scarcity of new notes.
Some of the petitioners have said that despite the government allowing withdrawals of Rs.24,000 a week, banks often said they didn’t have that much money.Arguing for the petitioner, senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan said the government was not prepared to tackle the impact of its sudden decision. “There was no cash in ATMs, recalibration was not done in time and cooperative banks were being discriminated against,” he said.The court asked the government why people couldn’t be assured a minimum amount for withdrawal. The government said the withdrawal limit was restricted to ensure that everyone gets new currency.