Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday hit back at the Congress for lashing out at the Reserve Bank of India for note ban saying those criticising demonetisation do not understand it. “Object of demonetisation was not confiscation of money. Object of demonetisation was that India is predominantly high cash economy therefore that scenario requires to be significantly altered,” said Jaitley in a press conference after the RBI released its annual report on the demonetised notes.
According to the RBI annual report, 99 percent of the demonetised notes have returned back in the system. Jaitley added that demonetisation was not just to weed out black money but also to bring people into the banking system and put and end to terror funding. “Objective of note ban was to bring down cash in economy, bring digitisation, expand tax base and fight black money. People with inadequate understanding of how to tackle black money linked note ban with money returned to system,” said Jaitley.
The finance minister added that the government will next try to check black money used in elections. “My next step is going to be to put an end to black money used in elections,” said Jaitley.
Earlier, reacting to the RBI report, former finance minister P Chidambaram lashed out at the reserve bank saying the decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes did not give the desired result. He also questioned the Narendra Modi government whether its demonetisation decision was designed to convert black money into white.
“99% notes legally exchanged! Was demonetisation a scheme designed to convert black money into white?,” Chidambaram said on Twitter. He also said that the economists behind the demonetisation move “deserve Nobel prize” as the RBI gained Rs 16,000 crore, but lost Rs 21,000 crore in printing new notes. “Rs 16000 cr out of demonetised notes of Rs 1544,000 cr did not come back to RBI. That is 1%. Shame on RBI which ‘recommended’ demonetisation.