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PTI misreports: Nirmala Sitharaman never said that Demonetisation had no effect on the Indian economy

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has not given a statement in Rajya Sabha that Demonetisation had no effect on the Indian economy. The News Agency Press Trust of India (PTI) reported her answer with a false headline.

On 2nd July NDTV quoted finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman as saying "Demonetisation had no effect on the Indian economy".

The news was taken from the news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) feed, and the same headline of the article was published by NDTV without any change . Press Trust of India (PTI) is a news agency which exchanges information with several news agencies and generally, media houses published as it is the same report given by  the agency stories .

A simple google search revealed that several media houses like The Hindubusinessline, Bloombergquint, scroll, etc have published articles with the same headline.

While sharing the article of Scroll, the official Twitter handle of Congress party mocked the finance minister for her alleged statement. The tweets reads:

Demonetisation led to: 2% loss to GDP growth 1.5 million jobs lost 53.46% decline in RBI surplus 20-30% decline in Industrial production What further examples of its effect on the economy does Smt Nirmala Sitharaman need before she accepts it was a failure?

Nirmala Sitharaman's objection

The Statement used in headlines wasn't anywhere in the PTI report related to this. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman replied to the tweet of NDTV and asked from where did this heading come from. She said that her reply in the Rajya Sabha did not have this kind of statement. She also asked NDTV to check and watch her answers in the Rajya Sabha and read the copy itself.

"Where did this heading come from? Not certainly from my answer in the Rajya Sabha. Your story, based on my answer, also, does not have this line. Please watch my answer in the RS or read your copy(sourced from @PTI_News?) itself". 


To this NDTV replied that this headline was used by PTI and they updated it as soon as she brought it to their notice.

We searched for the video of her reply on the web but couldn't find it. The official Youtube channel of Rajya Sabha TV has not uploaded the video yet.

We then searched the Rajya Sabha website for relevant information which could have triggered this misleading headline by PTI. We found that Congress MP in Rajya Sabha Digvijaya Singh had asked whether Government has done any study on the impact of demonetisation of Indian economy, particularly, MSME industries and on the employment.

The Finance Minister replied that the Government has not undertaken any specific study to find out the impact of demonetisation on the Indian economy.

We found another relevant question which was asked by Anand Sharma is the Deputy Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha. He had asked whether Government’s attention has been drawn to the slowdown of Indian economy owing to falling investments, non-utilisation of industrial capacities and sharp decline in production and consumption resulting in job losses. If so, then what are the policy measures proposed to revive the economy and industrial manufacturing.

While replying to the third point, FM had said that economic growth is high on the agenda of the Government and various reforms are being undertaken by the Government in many spheres to improve GDP growth. The report of PTI was about this answer.

You can read the full answer by the Finance Minister here.

Conclusion:  Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has not given a statement in Rajya Sabha that Demonetisation had no effect on the Indian economy. The News Agency Press Trust of India (PTI) reported her answer with a false headline.

This is not the first time when Press Trust of India (PTI) has contributed to spreading misleading news. In January this year, there were news reports that claimed thousands of trees were cut to clear land for temporary helipad space and for security measures for the PM's helipad but the truth is that only 40 Shrubs and spellings were removed and six trees were pruned.

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