Some economists say demonetization will adversely impact India’s economic growth even as others believe the disruption is unlikely to be significant. Here is our take on how demonetization will impact Indian economy.
The removal of these 500 and 1000 notes and replacement of the same with new 500 and 2000 Rupee Notes is expected to hurt the parallel economy badly. It has the potential to remove black money from the economy as the owners will not be able to use it or deposit it in banks without attracting prosecution and penalty. It can halt the circulation of counterfeit currency which will curb the funding of terrorism and other anti-social elements.
With the older 500 and 1000 Rupees notes being scrapped, until the new 500 and 2000 Rupees notes get widely circulated in the market, money supply is expected to reduce in the short run. To the extent that black money does not re-enter the system, reserve money and hence money supply will decrease permanently. However gradually as the new notes get circulated in the market and the mismatch gets corrected, money supply will pick up.
The overall demand is expected to be affected to an extent. The demand in following areas is to be impacted particularly:
These sectors will witness moderate deduction in demand from consumers due nature of transactions involved. Cash transactions form a significant part of transactions in these sectors.
The moderation of demand can also bring down the prices of goods and services in general:
Consumer goods: Prices are expected to fall only marginally due to moderation in demand as people switch to using cards and cheques for some purchases. In the short term, prices of perishable goods could fall as transactions are largely cash based.
Real Estate and Property: Prices in this sector are largely expected to fall in the short and medium term, especially for sales of properties where major part of the transaction is cash based, rather than based on banks transfer or cheque transactions.
With cash transaction lowering in the short run, until the new notes are spread widely into circulation, certain sections of the society could face short term disruptions in facilitation of their transactions. These sections are:
The nature, frequency and amounts of the commercial transactions involved with these sections of the economy necessitate cash transactions on more frequent basis.
Thus, these segments are expected to have the most significant impact post this demonetization process and the introduction of new notes in circulation.
The GDP formation could be impacted by this measure, with reduction in the consumption demand. However with the recent rise in festival demand is expected to offset this fall in overall impact. Moreover, this expected impact on GDP may not be significant as some of this demand will only be deferred and re-enter the stream once the cash situation becomes normal.
As directed by the Government, the 500 and 1000 Rupee notes which now cease to be legal tender are to be deposited or exchanged in banks (subject to certain limits). This will automatically lead to more amounts being deposited in Savings and Current Account of commercial banks. This in turn will enhance the liquidity position of the banks, which can be utilized further for lending purposes. However, to the extent that households have held on to these funds for emergency purposes, there would be withdrawals at the second stage.
With cash transactions facing a reduction, alternative forms of payment will see a surge in demand. Digital transaction systems, e-wallets and apps, online transactions using e-banking, usage of plastic money (debit and credit cards), etc. will definitely see substantial increase in demand. This should eventually lead to strengthening of such systems and the infrastructure required.
In spite of the initial hiccups and disruptions in the system, eventually this change will be well assimilated and will prove positive for the economy in the long run. Black money hoarders will definitely lose out, eventually boosting the formal economy in the long run. Short term fall in real estate prices might benefit middle class citizens. This move by the government along with the implementation of the GST will eventually make the system more accountable and efficient.