Embracing The Monetary Goals: A Session with Shri Anil Bokil
It was 8th November 2016. Demonetization marked the event calendar in the history of Indian Economics.The junta of NIT Rourkela, Odisha was honored to have the mastermind behind the plan, Shri Anil Bokil aka “Chanakya” on the occasion of NITR International Model United Nations 2018 which was held from 30th March to 1st April 2018.
NIT Rourkela felt dignified to hear the thoughts of the person who has been credited with giving the government the idea of demonetization. The crowd gathered in Bhubaneswar Behra Auditorium to hear out Shri Anil Bokil, the esteemed chief guest of this year’s MUN who addressed the students on the theme of, “Why demonetization was necessary and the future of the Indian Economy?”
Shri Bokil is a mechanical engineer by profession and the founder of Pune-based think-tank Arthakranti. 56-year-old Bokil has been described as an employee, employer, entrepreneur, economic theorist, and activist on the website of ArthaKranti. His hometown is Latur, Maharashtra. He had already started working on these ideas in 1999 and got ArthaKranti registered as an organization in 2004. He proudly claims to be a bachelor whose family is the entire universe.
The talk started at around 5 PM with highly enthusiastic students on board. The event was publicized with the fact that students will get a chance to question the “Man behind the Biggest Monetary Shakedown in the history of Independent India”. Back in 2013, he was given 9 minutes time to talk about the Arthakranti proposal to the Honorable Prime Minister, Mr.Narendra Modi but Mr.Modi heard him for 2 hrs. On November 08, the Narendra Modi-led government banned the denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 overnight. These high-currency notes accounted for around 86% of the currency in circulation at that time. The nation saw a condition of severe confusion and chaos due to the extreme cash shortage across the country. In this state of panic, over a 100 lives were lost, with some people being driven to suicide, and 1.5 million jobs disappeared. The growth of India’s economy also took a hit.
His session was captivating because various aspects of Indian economy was discussed elaborately and not just demonetization. At first, he talked about the terminologies, basic principles of economy, resources, demand, and supply chain then he switched to good governance and the market vs. government equilibrium. He showed a nice sketch to illustrate the same in the Powerpoint presentation. Meanwhile, a certain section of audience lost their focus when he was not completely getting into the roots of demonetization. But, things again got interesting when he showed a visual representation of taxation system, resources allocation in India and its relationship between corruption, terrorism and how the common people get genuinely affected by it. He mentioned things about how the political parties have converted us from a citizen of a democratic country to mere voters. Inquisitiveness made the students direct questions to him on serious economic issues.
Later, he briefly discussed a new taxation system and the true idea of demonetization because according to him that the action taken cannot exactly be termed as demonetization. He briefly stated that its impact was not satisfactory as the junta had to replace old notes with higher value notes since 86 percent of the Indian economy is based on monetary transactions. He was of the view that:
The government should have taken a stepwise approach and discard high value notes one by one by simultaneously teaching the citizens about its necessity and the ways to equip them with alternatives and altogether empower the entire banking system of the country.
He agreed that a lot of businesses in India were dependent on cash and therefore they were severely affected, but such is the cost which one needs to pay for all good things. He is in a view that instead of indulging in debates about the necessity of demonetization, the citizens should accept the fact that it was a well-thought decision. But, now the government should come out with social welfare schemes and help all sections of people. Loans should be made available at a low-interest rate in order to revive the loss incurred. It was followed by a very small Question and Answer session due to time constraints but nevertheless, inquisitive students and faculties raised their questions and continued the discussion for more than an hour outside BBA and later in the guest house. Once the talk was over. Shri Bokil was impressed with the wits and doubts of students at NITR and encouraged further tete-a-tete offstage. The session was brought to an end at around 7:30 PM, but it extended further owing to the. curiosity of students.
NIT Rourkela is surely privileged to receive such intellectuals as Shri Anil Bokil and congratulates the organizing team of NITR IMUNC on successfully conducting the grant event and thereby providing a once in a lifetime opportunity to the NITR junta and the MUN participants to interact with such thinkers.