Taking on the Congress at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Pune Metro on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said people would not have suffered the pain of standing in serpentine queues to withdraw cash from banks if the previous government had kept a check on the “wrongdoings of some people.” The Prime Minister said, “Had there been a check on corruption and black money during the tenure of the previous government, people today would not be standing in a queue to withdraw cash. People have to go through a lot of pain… Aur mujhe bhi bahut peeda hui. ..(It has also hurt me a lot).”
Slamming the “indecisiveness” of the earlier UPA government, Modi said, “I had to take the tough decision as the previous government didn’t do so. Therefore, I urge citizens to support it and adopt cashless transactions.”
The Prime Minister said the decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes was a way of giving more power to the poor, instead of it being confined to a select few, as had “happened during the tenure of the past government”.
“Those caught unawares by demonetisation are busy depositing black money, to convert it to white, by managing a few bankers. They should be careful now… there is still time to follow rules and declare the black money. There is no chance of escaping now,” said the Prime Minister.
He said the fight against corruption, black money, terrorism and Naxalism has been launched with lot of dedication. Modi added, “The hardships faced by honest citizens will end in 50 days, while the dishonest will face more problems. Everyone should fall in line and follow the rules and regulations.” Listing the positive effects of demonetisation, the Prime Minister said, “The PMC managed to collect revenue worth Rs 167 crore in a month, as against Rs 28 crore in the same month last year. All state governments saw an immediate benefit, with a large increase in revenue collection… This happened as people preferred paying their dues, instead of surrendering the amount to the government.”
Modi said the rich and the influential had been taking advantage of the earlier situation, and not paying taxes regularly, but demonetisation had forced all of them to “stand in a queue.”
The Prime Minister said earlier governments had got the Benami Property law approved in Parliament, but failed to implement it. “The law was merely on paper and the previous governments failed to issue a notification on it. The previous government kept a lot of good work for me to be done in the future,” said Modi.
Earlier, the Prime Minister said his government was implementing the “Rurban Mission”, which deals with the development of rural areas along with urban ones. “The need for water, school, hospitals, and traffic for the next 30 years should be estimated and then only can the challenges of rapid urbanisation be overcome,” said Modi.
The Prime Minister said the metro rail project was being implemented in 50 cities and the focus would be on completing all the projects within the deadline, adding that infrastructural development would not only mean work on rail or road networks, but also on information technology and connectivity. Earlier, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said those who were part of the earlier government were “disappointed”, as they were “not able to get the Pune Metro project approved within their tenure”.
Referring to the bhoomipujan by the Pune unit of the Congress, under the leadership of former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Friday, he said, “… They should continue such practices as they would never be able to get that done officially from now.” The Chief Minister also claimed that Chavan had returned the file on Pune Metro 256 times, without granting permission for the project. The state government will also work on another Metro route, from Shivajinagar to Hinjewadi, by April, said Fadnavis.