Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Thursday lashed out at the Congress for questioning the efficacy of demonetisation, saying whether the opposition party had been able to “stop corruption” and “increase tax base” during its regime. The Minister of State for Finance said demonetisation exercise has been successful in curbing black money, reducing terror activities and taking digitisation of payments forward.
“Raising tax base was a big issue in the country and we have been able to add huge number of tax payers. Whether Congress added new tax payers. We stopped corruption but whether they (Congress) were ever able to put a stop to it,” Meghwal asked.
He was replying to a query on accusations of the Congress, which had questioned the efficacy of demonetisation in curbing black money.
“Let them (Congress) raise this issue. This is their job. But we will answer them all,” he further said.
He was here to attend “Sankalap Se Siddhi” programme.
Meghwal defended the demonetisation exercise undertaken by the Narendra Modi government.
“All the objectives of demonetisation have been achieved. The country has moved toward digital transactions in a big way. There has been a reduction in terror activities and we have been successful in curbing black money,” the minister further said in the presence of BJP MP Kirron Kher and Chandigarh BJP President Sanjay Tandon.
The BJP had launched ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi’ campaign across the country from August 9 to 30 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Quit India movement.
The minister also said the economy was on track and it will continue to grow further.
“Our economy is on track and it will continue to grow at faster rate,” he said while rubbishing the Congress’ accusation of recession in the country.
“We carried economic reforms. We conducted demonetisation exercise, digital transactions took place, Union budget came out on February 1, railway budget merged in the union budget, Finance bill was passed by March 31, Insolvency act was brought out. These are our economic reforms.
“An American agency has made an assessment that our economy would become third largest in world by 2030 with these kinds of reforms,” said Meghwal.
“After the implementation of GST, now more economic reforms will take place,” he further said.
He said the government has been able to generate GST revenue more than what it had estimated.
“We had estimated revenue of Rs 91,000 crore and we have been able to cross these estimates,” the minister said.
Taking at a dig at West Bengal government, Meghwal said the government in the state used to say that it had been affected because of GST.
“But, this state has recorded maximum registration of new dealers under GST in the country. Over 2 lakh new dealers got themselves registered under GST. Whatever the government of that state says about GST, but public there was accepting it,” he said.
To a query on raising GST cess on luxury cars, the minister said the decision on raising cess was taken after a team of officers, which was constituted to find out the impact of GST, pointed out that luxury cars had turned cheaper after GST was implemented.
“A team of IAS officers which was formed to know about impact of GST on the ground pointed out that luxury cars have become cheaper after GST was implemented. This was not the purpose of GST. That is why the correction has been done by raising GST cess from 15 per cent to 25 per cent,” he said.