Accusing Congress of “fear-mongering” on demonetisation issue, BJP today rejected the opposition’s charge that the manner of its implementation has harmed the common man’s interests, saying a government cannot take anti-people step and then go back to them for votes. Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said people might be facing some problems due to shortage of small denomination currency notes but they are also supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move as it is against black money.
She claimed Congress had realised that it lacked substance during the debate on demonetisation in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and thus resorted to stalling the House by raising the demand that Modi should be present there.
“Congress is trying to create fear in the common man’s mind. It is not needed. It is fear-mongering,” the Commerce Minister told reporters, responding to the opposition party’s claim that it will take seven to eight months for situation to stabilise.
“Which political party will take a step against the people’s interest and will go back to the same people for votes,” she said on opposition’s charge that the manner of implementation of the measure was harming the common man.
Asked if there is panic in the government as it kept coming out with new measures, she said there is no panic and the government is alert with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reviewing the situation every day and taking decisions on the feedback.
The government, she said, had done as much preparatory work as it could and it did the best. Asked if the government is receiving suggestions like lowering the income tax, she said it is getting a lot of views from various quarters.
BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said Congress was spreading misinformation “either deliberately or without understanding the issue”. He also added that there was no need to bring back the same number of currency notes as cancelled as a lot of it was hoarded as illicit money and will not come back in the financial system.
The money cannot be hoarded now as there is a limit to the amount of withdrawal, he said. Asked if the government could have done better in making arrangements to deal with the post-demonetisation demand for cash, he said the more the preparatory work to replace notes had been done, the less secrecy would have been there, defeating the purpose of stamping out black money.