On Demonetisation Anniversary, BJP And Congress Trade Barbs
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
On the second anniversary of demonetisation, the BJP and Congress trained guns at each other.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley pointed towards the impact of demonetisation on the tax systems, digitisation and formalisation of the economy. Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, meanwhile, implied that the consequences of demonetisation has costed the BJP all the bypolls since 2016.
DeMo a Big Step Vs DeMo's Catastrophic Consequences
Jaitley said, for the first time in history, India would be the fastest growing economy in the world for the fifth year running. “Of course, there is a long distance that we have to cover and I'm certain that in the coming year, the advantage of these movements in the right direction will strengthen the Indian economy,” he added.
“Demonetisation was a key step. You had an anonymous amount of cash currency operating in the system mainly through high-value currencies. People were compelled to make deposits. Our purpose was not to confiscate their resources or money but to find out who is keeping an illegitimate non-paid amount of money.”Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister
Calling demonetisation the "most ingeniously designed official money laundering scheme" of the Modi govt, former finance minister P Chidambaram said it did not render any currency note worthless.
“Demonetisation did not put an end to the generationor use of black money. Almost on a weekly basis, the income department claims to have seized black or unaccounted money. Demonetisation did not put an end to fake currency. On the contrary, counterfeiters have successfully counterfeited the new Rs 2000 and Rs 500 notes. All the demonetised notes, actually, 99.3% were returned to the RBI.”P Chidambaram, Former Finance Minister
Digitisation Vs Deaths Due to DeMo
Jaitley also said that direct tax collections in the two years prior to demonetisation had risen by 6.6 percent and 9 percent, and in the two years post-demonetisation rose by 14.6 percent and 18 percent with increases registered both in personal income tax and corporate tax.
“Today in India, after the digitisation of the economy post demonetisation whether it is the UPI, or RuPay card or the BHIM app, the transactions have grown manifold. Over the next few years, we find a large part of the younger generation now predominantly wanting to deal through these instruments.”Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister
Chidambaram also said that demonetisation did not put an end to fake currency or to the generation or use of black money and the consequences of the move have been catastrophic.
“Millions of people were pushed into debt, millions lost their jobs. Thousands of MSMEs were shut down. Hundreds of people died standing in queues. GDP growth fell by 1.5% as predicted by Congress. The govt stares at a fiscal deficit crisis. The GST collections are short of estimates. The net direct tax collections are short of estimates.”P Chidambaram, Former Finance Minister
Vikas Vs Hindutva
Jaitley added that formalisation of the economy will lead to more revenue and more resources for the poor, better infrastructure and a better quality of life for the citizens.
“Unlike the previous governments, we did not have revenue problems. Within weeks, literally, we implemented the 7th pay commission. We implemented the OROP which was not implemented for the pastso many years. Rs 1,62,000 crores is the food subsidy that we are giving. 92% is the rural sanitation today. Avaas Yojana is expanding phenomenally. 10 crore families will get free treatment in hospitals up Rs 5 lakh every year.”Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister
Chidambaram attacked the Modi government for no longer talking about ‘acche din’ or ‘vikas’, rather focussing on Hindutva, statues and temple visits.
“There is no talk any more of development, jobs, investment, higher incomes or growth. The only talk we hear is about the Hindutva agenda. Soon after the elections, the Prime Minister had appealed to the country to put all divisive and controversial issues under a moratorium for 10 years and focus on development. Today, the promise of development or ‘acche din’ are in shambles.”P Chidambaram, Former Finance Minister
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