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Have "jugaad technology" to escape war against black money? The government already has a strategy to counter it!
After Modi government scrapped higher denomination notes on the night of November 8, 2016, people with black money stocks apparently didn't find any escape route immediately. The rule that all the exchange of scrapped notes with new notes can only be done through banks with identity proof under strict vigil of government agencies such as IT, vigilance department etc, left people having unaccountable money in awe and shock.

But then, there are some extra intelligent people who are very good at 'great Indian jugaad technology' who did find some escape routes.

Some people purchased gold, exchanging their black money (Rs 500 and 1,000 notes) from some equally profit oriented jewellery shops. It's told that black market gold rates jumped up to 50-80 thousand rupees per 10 grams. Many shops did nearly 40 to 50 per cent of their annual sale within three to four hours on the night of November 8.

Similarly, some others made pacts with foreign currency dealers and purchased US dollars paying Rs 84 to 95 per USD for converting their black money into white (or black USD). There were some temple trusties too who helped many black money holders in exchanging their unaccounted Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes with 100 rupees notes after deducting their commission. It's being said that Rs 100 per five hundred note and 200 per 1,000 note was charged. Similarly inside congested markets and many other places, such illegal transactions of exchanging 1,000 rupee and 500 rupee notes with 100 rupee notes became an industry overnight.

However, some individuals displayed extra ordinary jugaad skills. They purchased a lot of advance air and rail tickets with a plan to cancel those later, so as to get back their money after deduction of nominal cancellation fees.

Many others are using their assistants and family members to exchange their black money. For example, suppose there are ten bank branches. They send their assistant to each of those branches to exchange the notes and get back new notes. Thus, at a rate 4,000 per day, an assistant can exchange Rs 40,000 per day. Hence, if one has ten assistants, he can exchange 4,00,000 rupees per day. And in fifty days he or she can exchange nearly two crore rupees worth of black money. Now if the number of branches are more and the number of assistants are more you can imagine how much old currency notes people can exchange into genuine notes which will still remain black money (unaccounted). Isn't it a great jugaad to outsmart the government's surgical strike?

But I have now come to know from different sources (some friends of IT department and others) that the government has considered all such consequences and they have their plans in place too. For example, after a day of mass bookings of air and train tickets, the government issued a notification that such tickets are non-refundable.

They have strict vigil on jewellery shops, foreign exchange dealers and even illegal exchange agents. For air tickets and railways tickets, the identity cards are mandatory. Similarly for jewellery purchases, foreign currency exchanges etc, pan card is mandatory. Thus, teams are prepared to take on jewellery shops, foreign currency exchange dealers etc. Similarly, teams are ready to raid temple trustees who are indulging in converting black money into white money earning commissions.

The exchange of money (non-account holders) too is strictly monitored and the forms submitted are being scrutinised as to who collected how much cash. The idea is to bring the cash in to the bank first. Then there will be arrests, raids and so many other methods to apprehend people found indulging in jugaad technology.

Another problem is for political parties who had stored lots of black money in different places in Goa, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and other places for circulation to voters for purchasing of votes during upcoming elections. If all that money is not exchanged before December 30, it will simply become trash. Thus, the political parties are worried a lot and venting venom against Modi government. The most precarious condition is of BJP, as it's Narendra Modi's war against black money not BJP's, frankly speaking. Thus, many BJP stalwarts are simply silent (although angered) and not able to say anything in public where as other opposition parties out of frustration are shouting at Narendra Modi.

Sources are saying that this stashed black money may be pre-distributed among voters through their vote merchants (or booth managers) so that the voters can exchange the money and hopefully vote for them. But then, according to government sources, various agencies are on strict vigil on such possible distribution, transportation and exchange of the black money to be used for elections. Thus, more crackdowns are expected in coming weeks. The preparedness by government is very robust and there is no chance of escape. And then, sources are also saying that new 50, 100 and 1,000 rupee notes are being printed and most probably will be introduced in the market by January, 2017. Imagine one fine night the government declares that the existing 50 and 100 rupee notes are scrapped!

Frankly, it requires a fifty-six-inch chest to enforce such a war against black money and a strong control on government apparatus to ensure the enforcement is strict in letter and spirit. Thus, my suggestion to black money hoarders is that they better burn their hoardings than to indulge in jugaad technology

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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