When PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday night announced the ban on 500 and 1000 rupee notes, the whole nation was surprised and shocked with the sudden decision. Well, it’s not so sudden but a planned move.
A group of advisors planned for six months before taking such a big decision to take action against black money.
Only some of Modi’s trusted aids, finance minister Arun Jaitley, the Reserve Bank of India Governor and some close officials were aware of the biggest move.
So what could have happened if the decision was leaked…
Paras Savla of Mumbai based investment management firm KPB & Associates said, “If secrecy had failed, people would have invested most of their cash in Hawala (money-laundering) rackets, gold or real estate before the announcement, worsening the black money issue.”
According to Times of India, many ministers got to know about the plan just before the PM announced it to the nation. They were not allowed to leave until he finished his declaration to prevent any leak.
A minister said, “We just got some indication 10 minutes before the meeting started. It was a bold step by government. All ministers remained in the meeting hall from 6.45pm to 9pm until the PM’s address to the nation ended.”
The cabinet meeting ended at around 7:30 pm and then the PM went to meet the president to inform him about the decision. A source said that all the ministers had to stay in the meeting hall. He further stated that the PM later held another meeting with three other senior ministers which continued till late night.
A few weeks ago, the cabinet secretariat had issued a circular which said all the ministers were not allowed to carry mobile phones in the cabinet meeting. A source asserted, “So, there was no scope of the information going out.”
The cabinet meeting timing was also planned. The time fixed at the late evening and also the RBI board met at the same time. Sources reported that this was done to prevent a premature leak.