Modi’s move was hailed in some circles as genius. Businesses and individuals that were hiding taxable income would have to turn that cash (actual cash, mind you) into banks and bring it into the public sphere. The country’s now robust software-based income tax department systems would enable this to occur.
Multinational shippers might very well see Modi’s gambit not as a daring plan to make India a fairer place to do business, but as another brick in the wall of chaotic India.
That intense sense of entrepreneurial spirit I referred to earlier (forged in part by the drive toward self-reliance and in part due to survival instinct) has stood the country in good stead in terms of exports. Where there’s a will (and a buyer), there’s a way.
India’s entrepreneurial spirit had evolved into companies figuring out ever-more complex ways to shield earnings from the taxman.