Mumbai–Industrialist Rajiv Bajaj on Friday blamed the government’s demonetisation drive for causing a double-digit de-growth for the industry and job losses.

“The experience of Bajaj (Auto) has been no different from that of the industry as far as the demonetisation is concerned,” Bajaj, who is the Managing Director of two- and three-wheeler major Bajaj Auto, told NDTV Profit in an interview.

Rajiv Bajaj

“It (demonetisation) has hit us hard, whether it is the motorcycle industry or the three-wheeler industry. Especially so for the three-wheeler industry which is cash dependent.”

“There has been a double-digit de-growth of the industry purely and directly as a result of this (demonetisation). I am personally, surprised that not enough people are standing up and saying anything.”

Besides de-growth, Bajaj blamed demonetisation for job losses.

“A large supplier of mine who supplies to Bajaj and others like Yamaha and Honda told me in December that he alone had to let go 3,000 people as a result of downturn in demand across all his customers,” Bajaj pointed out.

A day earlier, Bajaj had termed the demonetisation drive as a “wrong” idea.

“If the idea (demonetisation) is not working, don’t blame execution. I think your idea itself is wrong,” Bajaj said at the annual Nasscom leadership forum which was held here on Thursday.

On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. These were replaced by new notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 denomination notes.

As per the data available with the Reserve Bank of India, 84 per cent worth of total currency under circulation at the time of November 8 announcement was demonetised.