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Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Demonetisation increased tax collections, says Sitharaman; Rahul claims it helped ‘crony capitalists’

Sitharaman said Rs 900 crores of undisclosed income was seized in the first four months after demonitisation.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 8, 2020 2:07:07 pm
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during a press conference, at BJP HQ in New Delhi, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020.(PTI)

Demonetisation led to better tax compliance and a major push towards digital economy, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Sunday, the fourth anniversary of the contentious policy announcement, even as the Congress asserted that the move was aimed at helping a few of his “crony capitalist friends”.

Underlining the merits of demonetisation, in a series of tweets, Sitharaman said: “To fulfill its promise of freeing India from corruption, the Modi govt implemented Demonetisation 4 years ago on this day, today. The move that was an unprecedented attack on Black Money also led to better tax compliance and a major push to digital economy.”

Sitharaman said Rs 900 crores of undisclosed income was seized in the first four months after demonitisation. And in the last three years, assets worth Rs 3,950 crores were seized. While surveys conducted post-demonetisation led to unearthing of undisclosed income worth several crore, Operation Clean Money helped formalise the economy, she added.

“Demonetisation not only brought transparency and widened the tax base, it also curbed counterfeit currency and increased circulation,” Sitharaman said in another tweet.

Meanwhile, the Congress kick started a social media campaign #SpeakUpAgainstDeMoDisaster in which party MP Rahul Gandhi alleged that the main aim of demonetisation was to waive the loans of big defaulters. The party also claimed that the move resulted in GDP growth rate decreasing by 2.2 per cent and employment decreasing by 3 per cent.

In a video, Gandhi said the question was how the economy of Bangladesh “surpassed” the Indian economy as there was a time when India used to be one of the most high performing economies of the world.

Gandhi said the question is how the economy of Bangladesh “surpassed” the Indian economy as there was a time when India used to be one of the most high performing economies of the world.

“The government says that the reason is COVID but if that is the reason, there is COVID in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world also. The reason is not COVID, the reason is ‘Notebandi’ and GST,” Gandhi said.

“Four years ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi began an assault on the Indian economy. He hurt farmers, labourers and small shopkeepers. Manmohan Singh ji said the economy will lose two per cent and that is what we saw,” Gandhi said.

The former Congress chief said PM Modi’s claim that it was a fight against black money “was a lie”. “The attack was on you, Modi wanted to take your money and give it to his 2-3 crony capitalist friends. You stood in lines, not his crony capitalist friends. You put your money in banks and PM Modi gave that money to his friends and gave them a loan waiver of Rs 3,50,000 crore,” Gandhi alleged.

In 2016, the Narendra Modi-led government scrapped the legal status of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, attracting severe criticism from the Opposition, who said the move pulled down the country’s economy.

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