Dibyangshu Sarkar/Stringer

El desastre de la desmonetización de India

NUEVA DELHI – El 8 de noviembre, el Primer Ministro indio Narendra Modi anunció que, a partir de esa medianoche, los billetes de 500 y 1000 rupias (por un total de cerca de 14 billones de rupias o un 86% del circulante) ya no tendrían curso legal. Con ello, la economía de la India se sumió en el caos.

El objetivo declarado de Modi era cumplir su promesa de campaña de luchar contra el “dinero negro”: los ingresos ilícitos (a menudo en efectivo) de la evasión tributaria, el crimen y la corrupción. También esperaba eliminar todo valor de los billetes que supuestamente ha impreso Pakistán para financiar el terrorismo contra la India. Sin embargo, pasado casi un mes, todo lo que se ha logrado con la desmonetización ha sido alterar seriamente la economía. La apuesta de Modi ha demostrado ser no una jugada maestra, sino un error de cálculo de proporciones épicas.

El anuncio generó de inmediato una alocada carrera por deshacerse de los billetes por caducar. Aunque la gente tenía hasta fin de año para depositarlos en cuentas bancarias, hacerlo en grandes cantidades podía exponerlos a altos impuestos y multas. Así que se abalanzaron sobre las bombas de  gasolina, las joyerías y los acreedores para pagar sus préstamos. Dentro, alrededor y fuera de los bancos, las casas de cambio y los cajeros automáticos se formaron largas filas de gente deseosa de cambiar los billetes a punto de perder todo valor.

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