Demonetisation was poorly executed, says Kotak Mahindra Bank Chief

New Delhi: The outcome of the controversial demonetisation drive would have been ‘significantly better’ if ‘simple things’ like introducing Rs 2,000 currency notes were avoided, banker Uday Kotak has said.

The executive vice chairman and managing director of the fourth largest private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank has also said small businesses are in a difficult situation at present and has welcomed the government focus to revive the sector. On demonetisation, he said the outcomes would have been different if it was planned well.

“I think we would have had significantly better outcomes, if we had just thought about simple things. If you are taking out Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, why would you introduce Rs 2,000 notes?” Kotak asked while speaking at former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian’s book launch here over the weekend.

Kotak said as part of the ‘execution’ strategy, it was essential to ensure larger quantum of notes of the right denomination were made available. If such things were undertaken, “we would have been talking very differently today than now,” he said.

But Kotak claimed that for the financial sector, demonetisation has been a “huge boon”. He said the growth in financial savings has been “unbelievable”, which has also led to a challenge of risk management.

On the small businesses sector, he pitched for more focus saying the sector is impacted. “I believe that the SME sector has taken a significant amount of pain. Getting credit for them is tough even now”, he said. He also welcomed the latest government moves for the sector.