P Chidambaram, former finance minister in the Congress-led UPA government, fired a series of salvos at the Narendra Modi government, this time raising fears of digital purchases endangering privacy of individuals.
Arun Jaitley's predecessor was talking to a news channel wherein he strongly criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation drive and perils of forcing people to go digital.
"A completely cashless economy means big data is available with the government...we will all become pawns in the hands of the government. If a young adult woman buys a lingerie, why should the government know that she is buying a lingerie"? he said in the interview given to India Today.
He dismissed the very notion of going cashless in the context of cash dominating commercial transactions across the world, citing statistics.
"I am questioning the whole theory that we will become a cashless, digital economy in two-three years. This is completely rubbish. In fact, I would argue that we should never become cashless," he said.
Chidambaram had criticised the demonetisation drive as "demonisation of cash." He had also dismissed the concept of cashless economy as "foolishly utopian."
Staying with demonetisation, the seizures of cash and jewellery continues unabated. The latest was on Tuesday in Chennai. The income tax department carried out a raid on a businessman's house in the city resulting in seizure of Rs 10 crore in cash and 6 kg jewellery.