The Latin American country, Venezuela, has tried to ape India’s nation-wide note ban decision, but it had backfired badly following which President Nicolas Maduro was forced to postpone the entire decision until January 2 next month. The Venezuelan government took the decision last week on December 12, following which 100-bolivar note was ceased to be a legal tender.
But the sudden decision was bound to have violent repercussion in one of the world’s most violent countries. It led to massive protest across the streets of Caracas and other cities messed up further by violent protests and complete chaos. The decision was abruptly taken leaving the entire nation of around 32-million people in a state of complete shock, anger and despair. However, the government had now postponed the decision as of now to prevent further law and order mess in the country.
The Venezuelan President confirmed that 100-Bolivar bills will remain a legal tender as of now. However, the international borders with neighboring Columbia and Brazil would stay closed to prevent hoarding of Venezuelan cash by black money hoarders.
Maduro further alleged that these mafias are in touch with the US to destabilize the country. Currently, Venezuela has the world’s highest inflation rate of around 475% according to the IMF. The 100-bolivar demonetization was planned to curb the high prevailing level of inflation in the nation.
The people of Venezuela stood in long lines at banks for hours together to meet a Friday deadline to exchange their 100-Bolivar currency notes. Even when the deadline was extended, people still queued up at Banks out of fear psychosis and to get rid away from the demonetized currency at the earliest. According to government estimates, a lot of shops and shopping malls were looted and several people injured in violent clashes after the Venezuelan government’s sudden demonetization move.
Demonetization in India & Venezuela: A Comparison Study
Interestingly, in the context of India, common people stood by the government’s decision and demonstrated overwhelming support for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- In India, 500 & 1000 INR notes constitute around 86% of the currency in circulation, but in Venezuela 100-Bolivar note forms just 48 % of the total currency in circulation.
- The Indian government gave around 50-day time limit to people to get their 500 & 1000 rupees note exchanged at the banks and post office with the amount of same values at different denominations, but Venezuela gave just 10 days for the people to deposit their demonetized 100-Bolivar notes at Banks. However, the entire decision was postponed later.
- India demonetized notes of higher denomination of 500 & 1000 INR to tackle the problems of corruption and terror funding in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan, but Venezuela took the decision to curb the rising problems of international gangs and drug racketeers who hoard Venezuelan currency notes abroad to sell the same at subsidized rates in Columbia and neighboring areas.
- The Venezuelan government was forced to postpone the decision since people went on a rampage across streets inciting violence, In India, Modi government didn’t backtrack albeit with considerable inconvenience to people. However, the level of violence in India is far lesser as compared to Venezuela after demonetization move.
- In India, opposition parties and some of the people termed the move as a good decision coupled with bad execution, but in Venezuela, people are extremely furious with so little deadline given to them to get their demonetized notes exchanged at banks.