Microsoft’s Bill Gates closely chases Bezos on road to retaining the top billionaire spot again. Photograph: (Getty)
Gates had earlier called demonetisation a 'bold move' and believed that it would deflate India’s shadow economy
A day after lauding Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation decision, Microsoft founder Bill Gates took a U-turn and said he had “no opinion” on the issue, reported The Hindu.
It happened during a media roundtable on Thursday when a reporter from The Hindu specifically asked Gates if he supported the demonetisation move. Gates, who a day before had called it a “bold move” and believed that it would deflate India’s shadow economy, said, he had “on opinion” on the issue.
Delivering the Second Transforming India Lecture organised by NITI Aayog on Wednesday, Gates had also said that the shift to digital transactions would enhance transparency and reduce leakages.
"The Prime Minister’s bold move to demonetise high-value denominations and replace with new notes with high security features is an important step to deflate India’s shadow economy,” said Gates.
India, he added, "has all the pieces in place for a compelling vision for digital financial inclusion. Aadhaar will convert a cumbersome, paper-based account opening process into a 30-second, all-digital system."
Modi, in a surprise decision on November 8, demonetised currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination, replacing them with new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 bills.
(WION with inputs from PTI)