Presenting the Budget, Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley strongly lauded the government move to demonetise the high denomination currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. The issue has been one of the major talking points in the build up to the Budget this year.
Calling the decision “bold” and “decisive”, Jaitley said, “Demonetisation was a continuation of series of measures taken by govt in two year. It is a bold and decisive measure”.
The move, which was announced on November 8 last year in a televised address to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been strongly criticised by the Opposition, while the government has defended it as the one to fight terrorism, black money and corruption.
“Demonetisation was a bold and decisive strike in a series of measures to arrive at a new norm of bigger, cleaner and real GDP… Demonetisation will help in transfer of resources from tax evaders to government,” Arun Jaitley said presenting the budget, which is still going on.
Another issue where the government faced questions on the move was inconvenience caused by the note ban. It had led to massive queues in the banks and at the ATMs, where people turned up to exchange/withdraw the currency.
Assuring that the “effects” of demonetisation are not expected to spill over to the next year, the Union Finance minister said that the “pace of remonetisation has picked up”.
“Only transient impact on economy due to demonetisation… long term benefit include higher GDP growth and tax revenue,” he said, adding “GDP will be bigger, cleaner after demonetisation”.
Strongly backing the move and setting aside the apprehensions that demonetisation will have any long-term negative impact, Jaitely has termed the demonetisation along with the passage of crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill as “two tectonic policy initiatives” of the Modi government, while reading the Budget.