During a conversation with comedian Trevor Noah on his podcast, titled ‘What Now? With Trevor Noah,’ Gates shared the 1997 incident.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the withdrawal of Rs 2000 currency note and questioned the role of the Bill Gates-owned Better than Cash Alliance in the move.
Owaisi wondered what would have happened in the event of a war with China or if National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) was being hacked by Chinese hackers.
The Hyderabad MP took to Twitter to pose five questions to the prime minister after the RBI announced the decision to withdraw the Rs 2000 currency note from circulation.
He asked why the Rs 2000 currency note was introduced in the first place. The currency note was introduced in 2016 right after demonetisation in order to bridge the shortfall when notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations were withdrawn from circulation overnight.
Owaisi wondered what would have happened if it was the turn of Rs 500 currency note to be withdrawn next. “70 crore Indians don’t have a smartphone, how do they do digital payment?” he asked.
The Lok Sabha MP then went on to ask, “What is the role of Bill Gates-owned Better than Cash Alliance in making you do Demo1.0 and 2.0” alluding to the NDA government’s decision to go for demonetisation in November, 2016 which was termed as disastrous by economists and the Opposition.
The fifth and final question asked by Owaisi was about the fate of the country if it switched completely to digital payments. “Is NCPI being hacked by Chinese hackers? If so, what will happen to payments when war happens?” asked the MP.
The Better Than Cash Alliance, which Owaisi referred to in his tweet, is a global partnership of 80 governments, companies and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to responsible digital payments to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was one of the founding funders of the alliance and India became a member of the Better Than Cash Alliance in 2015 to digitize payments to achieve financial inclusion through Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. Owaisi hinted that the decision of the Modi Government was prompted by the Better Than Cash Alliance which wanted to push through digital payments instead of cash transactions.