Dismissing criticism over demonetisation of Rs 500/1000 notes, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday that people will face difficulty for the first few days but it is a massive operation to curb black money. He added that it was not possible for the government to inform people about this decision in advance as “we had to maintain its secrecy as well”.
Jaitley slammed the Oppositon for condemning government for the move, Jaitley said that different political reactions are coming out of which some are really “irresponsible”. “Congress said it’s our money why should we join the line . But how do we know whether you have paid tax on your money,” said Jaitley.
Talking about the banking transaction after the demonetisation, Jaitley said, “SBI bank has alone completed 2 crore 28 lakh transactions in last two days, be it for deposit, exchange or any other form. Bank officials are working from morning to late night, people are also cooperating well despite all difficulties.” He said “its a big regret that people are being inconvenienced” and added that it will take 2-3 weeks times to re-calibrate 2 lakh ATMs for vend out new Rs 2000 and Rs 500 notes.
Jaitley also said that despite allegations by opposition parties that there was spike in bank deposits leading up to the demonetisation announcement, no such spike has been seen in any month, except September 2016. “That month the increase was because of money released on account of the Seventh Pay Commission payments,” he added.
The minister dismissed the rumour of salt deficiency and inbuilt electronic chip in Rs 2000 notes. “These are concocted rumours,” said Jaitely. The minister urged people to stagger depositing defunct currency and not crowd banks.
Responding to the jewelers converting defunct currency into gold, Jaitley said that stock details have been sought from jewelers on reports of dealings in defunct currency. “Government will not allow any illegal transaction in bullion, said the minister.
The minister appealed the people to stagger depositing defunct currency and not crowd banks.
Jaitley also said that all sections were looked after by the government. “One of most deprived sections of workers — MNREGA workers — get their money in bank accounts; no reason for anyone to feel deprived,” he said.