“The risk to tax evaders has jumped sharply and they should be on tenterhooks,” said Gautam Chikermane, vice president of the Observer Research Foundation, a research institute in New Delhi.
Another goal of demonetization was to move Indians away from cash. The idea was that Indians would bank more of their money and the government could then track it more closely — and collect more taxes in a country where only a tiny fraction of earners pay income tax.
To some degree, the banking sector did benefit. In the wake of demonetization, millions of Indians opened their first bank accounts.
But not all of that is attributable to Mr. Modi’s efforts. India has been rapidly modernizing, and its economy is now the world’s sixth largest (behind the United States, China, Japan, Germany and Britain), though hundreds of millions of people are still very poor.
And even to this day, cash is still king in India. Want to buy a table? More often than not merchants will offer two prices.
If you want to pay by credit card, it’s this much. But if you pay cash (which means the merchant will most likely not report the sale), the price can be much cheaper.
Mr. Modi has kept quiet about the recent demonetization findings, which basically confirmed those released a year ago.
He is a prolific Twitter user, with nearly 44 million followers. But his latest burst of Twitter postings show him shaking hands with regional leaders or congratulating Indian table tennis players, with nothing about the economy.