PM Modi’s interview to India Today: ‘Demonetisation a tough decision to clean economy’

In the interview with senior journalist Raj Chengappa, the prime minister talked about the impact of demonetisation on Indian economy, government's future action plan and how he sees Opposition's protest against note ban.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 30, 2016 12:13 pm
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given an exclusive interview, his first after demonetisation, to India Today magazine. In the interview with Group Editorial Director of the magazine, Raj Chengappa, the prime minister dismissed all criticism and talked about the impact of demonetisation on Indian economy, government’s future action plan and how he sees Opposition’s protest against note ban.

Highlights of the interview

#Black money has all been forced out into the open, whomsoever it may belong to-whether it is corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen or professionals. Counterfeit notes, which our intelligence agencies had reported to be available in high volumes with our enemies, have been instantly neutralised. The media has extensively reported on districts famous as counterfeiting hubs being badly hit.

#Regarding frequent modifications one must be able to distinguish between Niti and Ran niti. Our ran niti however needed to be different, aptly summarised by the age old saying tu daal daal main paat paat.

WATCH VIDEO | Government Drops Four-Year Jail Term For Holding Old Currency Notes

#Regarding Manmohan Singh, it is interesting that the world’s monumental mismanagement comes from a leader who has been at the helm of India economic journey for the past 45 years. His reference to ‘organised loot’ was perhaps a reference to the unending string of scams under his leadership, from the coal scam to the 2G and CWG scam. Demonetisation on the other hand is the unprecedented step to confiscate the loot of the corrupt.

#The govt tried its best to keep the parliament functioning. I was keen to speak in both the houses. Yet, there was was a concerted attempt by the Congress to derail the functioning of the houses, rather than have a proper debate. While Opposition in Parliament is understandable, this is the first time this is being used to protect the dishonest and that to so openly.

#When money returns to the bank, it loses its anonymity. Every rupee leaves a trail. This changes the game as black money that did not have an address till now has been tagged with one. We now know when was it, where and when. Holders of black money may hide behind the bank accounts of others, but unlike cash holdings, they can be traced. In this game of hide and seek they have a few days to hide, but the govt has the mechanism and will to seek them out. More interestingly the existence of such trails, the identification of one culprit invariably leads to the unearthing of even larger sources and schemes of corruption.

#If you act with clarity and with the purest of motives, the results will be there for any to see. Whatever my critics may say, I seek no personal benefit from all this, only the greater good.

# Cash held by terrorists, Maoists and other extremists has also been neutralised. There has been a crippling impact on dangerous and highly damaging illegal activities, such as human trafficking and narcotics.

#I pity a few of our opponents, especially the Congress leadership, for the desperation they have been exhibiting..Congress leaders are entirely pre-occupied with only one thing-elections.

#There is nothing political in the demonetisation decision…it was a tough decision taken to clean up our economy and our society. If I were guided by short-term electoral politics, I would have never done so.

#If one does an unbiased, objective evaluation of my government’s programmes and priorities over the past two and a half years, the one thing that will unambiguously emerge is the centrality of the poor, downtrodden and marginalised.

# The multiplier effect of introduction of money, which was till now uselessly hoarded and stocked away as cash, into the active economic system will give the economy further boost. Additional government revenue will be pushed into priority domains such as irrigation and rural housing, empowering the poor and needy.

#We took the demonetisation decision not for some short term windfall gain, but for a long term structural transformation. Our objective was to clean up our economy and society of the menace of black money, purging the distrust, artificial pressures and other ills that came with it. The revenue collected will be used for the welfare of the poor, downtrodden and marginalised.

#Earlier the income tax department used to shoot in the dark. Now, people have voluntarily come forward and deposited money in their banks. The aim is to ensure that the honest tax payer is not harassed of inconvenienced while the dishonest tax evade is efficiently caught and punished. Beyond this any erring officer or banker will be caught and punished. My government has zero tolerance for corruption.

#Digital transaction should not be viewed only as a short-term substitute to help through the period of cash shortage. That is not my objective. Digital transaction deliver multiple benefits. They facilitate proper accounting and sizing of the formal economy. They provide greater ease and security in handling of money, especially for small businesses and ordinary people. They also deliver greater tax compliance ensuring the dishonest do not escape payment of their dues. Therefore, I see digital payment as method of cleaning the economy in the long run.

# It is imperative that we figure out decisive ways of routing out black money from politics. I have been regularly appealing for the same. I have asserted before the last parliament session itself that the need of the hour is to comprehensively relook and reform political funding. I have also repeatedly expressed concern about how our current system of multiple elections not only raises political expenditure, thereby hurting the economy, but also result in the nation perpetually remaining in the election mode, stalling governance.

 

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  1. R
    ramesh das
    Jan 5, 2017 at 6:41 am
    Please instruct RBI to come to the rescue of NRIS who are coming to India via Hyderabad as RBI is an all India insution.Why should they spend 20,000/ to deposit 8000/ worth of Demonetized notes.Rbi has allowed deposits only at mumbai,Delhi,Chennai,KOLKATA and Nagpur,which is highly discriminatory
    Reply
    1. S
      Subramani Gopalakrishnan
      Jan 1, 2017 at 3:04 pm
      The strategy behind demonetisation is indeed noteworthy. Attempting on a scale of Indian economy and size it is tough journey. Ends justify means. When the parallel economy is threatening to exceed the real economy it is greater pressure to cleanse the system . But the good part is even if injected at different segments the objective will be achieved and good beginning is made.
      Reply
      1. K
        kshana sharma
        Jan 2, 2017 at 12:41 am
        I SUGGEST IF YOU SOUND TRUE THEN WHY NOT TO DEVELOP THE PARALLEL DIGITAL IN DESHI OR SWADESH TECHNO LOGY TO CONTROL AT THE TIME OF CRISES AS YOU APPREHENDED SIR JAI HIND
        Reply
        1. K
          kshana sharma
          Jan 2, 2017 at 12:34 am
          sorry for congress ducking to fellow citizen and still taking the same path under a single family with pious name of MAHATMA SHIRI HI JI JAI HIND
          Reply
          1. R
            rohan
            Jan 1, 2017 at 4:30 pm
            Modi drives a train without rails ! All bluff !!!
            Reply
            1. S
              ssn murthy
              Jan 3, 2017 at 1:29 pm
              The nation is eagerly waiting to know why a defaulting MP was allowed into BJP immediately after meeting NAMO after uming office of PM
              Reply
              1. A
                Antonio DSilva
                Dec 30, 2016 at 1:41 pm
                India will never get out of the black money scourge. It is a cancer which runs deep through our veins.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;If I am wrong can the politicians answer the Indian poce as to why and how they spend thousands of crores of rupees to get themselves elected to office?lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;As in any business money invested = money earned profitlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;My guess is that the demonetization is intended to track and recover the unattained profit the government had forecasted prior to investing in the elections.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The government knows where the black money is, else how could the shetty from Karnataka host a 500 crore rupees wedding for his ladle post November 7 when it was made so difficult for a common man to withdraw 500 rupees from his own bank account being credited with his hard earned ry?lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;All Indian political parties are corrupt to the core. Barring a few honest sons of the soil; hiji, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and A P J Abdul Kalam and maybe one or two others.
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                  Arpita
                  Dec 30, 2016 at 7:04 pm
                  Modi sir respect.. At least ur not wasting your time as a PM of India and taking some harsh decided doing ur job with honesty giving us a corruption free government after a long decade we are not fools ur intention is genuine that's why ? We are supporting you but plz do something about proper implementation... Thx sie
                  Reply
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