Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday reaffirmed the government’s resolve to continue taking steps to weed out black money from the economy and accused the Congress of not having initiated measures to tackle the menace when in power. Addressing a press conference here, Javadekar said that November 8, the first anniversary of demonetisation, will be observed the ‘anti-black money day’ across the country. The Congress-led opposition has decided to observe November 8 as ‘black day’.
“I am surprised that when the BJP is observing November 8 as anti-black money day, the Congress has decided to agitate in support of black money,” he said. “The common countrymen stood in support of demonetisation. Those who are dishonest, were inconvenienced due to the exercise and Congress has been talking for such people,” the human resource development minister alleged.
The Congress, in its 50-year rule, never took any bold step against black money, but the BJP in three years waged an all-out war against it, and demonetisation was one of the measures for it, he said. The government, he said, has resolved to end the black money economy, and in future also, crucial decisions will be taken to weed out the menace.
On November 8, discussions, rallies and lectures on demonetisation, an awareness campaign for digital payment and downloading of BHIM application on a mass scale will be held across the country, he said. Javadekar said despite the Supreme Court’s order for forming a special investigation team (SIT) against black money, the Congress did not do anything.
“It was the BJP which, immediately after coming to power, formed the SIT and resolved to take on the menace of black money,” he said. Responding to those questioning the success of the demonetisation exercise, Javadekar said, “Rs 16,000 crore did not come back (to the banking system) during the exercise. Two lakh shell companies were exposed and their accounts frozen.”
“We are in the process of scrutinising these accounts and sealing such firms,” he said. The Central government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi made amendments to the Benami Property Act, which was never notified during the Congress regime, the BJP leader said.
After the necessary improvements and amendments, under this Act 381 benami properties worth Rs 1,300 crore were confiscated,” he said, adding around 4.7 lakh dubious transactions worth Rs 3 lakh crore were identified. Due to demonetisation, digital transactions got a boost and there was a remarkable rise in the number of tax payers, the minister said.