Episode 770: When India's Cash Disappeared : Planet Money When India suddenly got rid of most of its cash, in an effort to end corruption and modernize its economy, chaos ensued. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
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Episode 770: When India's Cash Disappeared

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Episode 770: When India's Cash Disappeared

Episode 770: When India's Cash Disappeared

Episode 770: When India's Cash Disappeared

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/764433918/764453417" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Anil Bokil, a mechanical engineer by training, had a plan for demonetization. He presented it to now Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2013. Chhavi Sachdev /NPR hide caption

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Chhavi Sachdev /NPR

Anil Bokil, a mechanical engineer by training, had a plan for demonetization. He presented it to now Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2013.

Chhavi Sachdev /NPR

Note: This episode originally ran in 2017.

When Narendra Modi first became India's Prime Minister, he decided to get rid of most of his nation's cash. In the span of a few weeks, 85% of the country's paper notes became worthless, and India's entire economy plunged into chaos.

The demonetization policy was a radical effort to address corruption and to modernize a system that relied mostly on cash. The man who envisioned it, a mechanical engineer, was on a spiritual quest to fix India's economy.

At the end of the show, we have a short update on a recent study about the effects of demonetization.

Music: "Don't Wanna Lose Touch" and "Sell My Soul."

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