“33% of black money, amounting to 27% of counterfeit, easily equal to 14% of hawala deals…”

All the numbers and stats you needed on demonetisation

Mumbai, Nov 30: Opinions are like black money, everybody has some. So in journalism, we prefer solid statistics. which are difficult to refute, but actually easy to make up.

There is a certainty to numbers that words can’t match. Another great thing about stats is that the common public, most of whom cannot work out multiplication tables beyond ‘2’ without the use of calculator, take it as absolute truth. This belief system is at the core of all Budget figures.

As they say in financial journalism, numbers don’t lie. But they can confuse a great deal.

In the aftermath of demonetisation, we in the news media have been throwing up a bunch of statistics, which have risen above the clutter of opinion journalism and created a clarity in the minds of general public to generally stick to memes and dog and cat videos on FB and WA.

This is a real news report: ‘In value terms, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes together accounted for 86.4 per cent of the total value of banknotes in circulation; by volume, Rs 10 and  Rs 100 banknotes constituted 53.0 per cent of the total banknotes in circulation. In statistical terms, 100 per cent of this totally confounding’. Okay, we made the last line up.  But when you come across such reports, you bet you would rather be reading about Katerina Kaif’s opinion on Orwell’s 1984 (<Insert your spoofy summation of the book joke here>).

But in case any of you is caught in a situation, wherein you have to sound all scholarly and well-informed (at booze parties or with your boss or to put off your boring father-in-law or you are called on TV news or if you are the country’s finance minister), here is an all-in-a-platter set of statistics, which, in the true and high traditions of economics and journalism, have been totally fabricated. But fret not, your interlocutor will never figure this out. Also, you can attribute the statistics to any made-up institute or research body. Heck, you can even say that the numbers are from the RBI. The only problem is the RBI itself may use it in its next report.

1) According to the latest statistics from the Financial Institutions and Banks Study (FIBS), an eponymous industry body, the demonetisation drive has so far netted 3.14 lakh crore which is roughly 22/7 per cent of the entire black money pie. The RBI is going around in circles, you bet!

2) After some number crunching, the SPCA-SPCA (Society for Prevention of Chartered Accountants from being Spelled by Papers as Charted Accountants), it has come to light that the RBI which was to have printed 16 million numbers of Rs. 500 notes, constituting a 23 per cent of the total new currency, has actually printed 500 numbers of ‘Rs.16 million’ denomination, constituting 108 per cent of the total new currency.

2-A) The corollary to the previous finding is that 8 per cent of the new denomination is already black money at the RBI’s mint itself. The RBI is expected to be slapped a fine of 236 per cent by the Income Tax Department.

3) A team of researchers from EBB (Easily Bored Brotherhood) have reported that the total man-hours lost by the country due to people standing at the ATMs interminably in the last 25-odd days is roughly 98 per cent of those 25 odd days. But it constitutes just .5 per cent of the man-hours lost on account of ‘tea breaks’ taken by employees of nationalised banks in pre-demonetisation days.

3-a) 90 per cent of the feminists are unhappy with the term ‘man-hours’.

4) The number of working ATMs across the country at the current moment is roughly one lakh thirty-four thousand, of which 98 per cent are nowhere in your locality and the remaining 2 per cent, which of course are in your locality, have been fitted with the high-end sensors that detect your presence and immediately come up with the message: ‘Out of cash’.

5) In a survey conducted by ‘Narendra Modi app’ 96 per cent confirmed that the demonetisation drive was not all an inconvenience and they, despite the fact that it was just a multiple-choice survey, asserted that they were ready to face even more ordeals to drive out the black money hoarders. All 100 per cent of them iterated that the gun pointed to their heads while answering the survey had no bearing on what they said in the survey.

6) 33% of black money, amounting to 27% of counterfeit, easily equal to 14% of hawala deals, adding up to 52% of shady real estate deals and roughly toting up to 73% of the illegal gold hoarded across the country are in the hands of 9 per cent of top politicos in the country, and 0% have been raided for black money any time.