When cash turns to ash: a look at India’s demonetization drive


On 8 November, India banned two of its highest currency notes to fight graft. In an apparently impromptu address to the nation late evening – as the collective imagination

of Indians were focused on the US presidential elections – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the ₹500 (about $7) and ₹1000 (about $15) notes would cease to be legal tender from midnight onwards. Indians had till 30 Dec to exchange their old notes for new ones. The sudden announcement, the government said, was to catch unawares tax cheats and unaccounted cash (or black money) hoarders, and kill off the counterfeit currency industry. Two months later, it seems Modi’s plan actually aimed to usher in a digital payments revolution in the country. READ MORE


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