Demonetisation 'benefits' have begun percolating: Naidu

Demonetisation 'benefits' have begun percolating: Naidu

Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today described the slew of sops announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on new year's eve and a cut in interest rates by banks as "beginning of percolation of demonetisation's benefits to the people".

Referring to the sops announced by Modi, the Union Urban Development Minister said, "This was prompted by the return of huge high-value currency notes into the banking system."

Hailing the move of banks to cut interest rates, Naidu said it would benefit the common man.

"It is very clear that the benefits of the (high-value) note withdrawal have begun to flow to the people," he added.

Speaking to reporters at the state BJP headquarters here, Naidu said, "More and more benefits will flow in the future. This is the beginning of the victory of the war against the corrupt and black money-holders."

Besides such benefits, he said the prime minister had already begun moving forward with new initiatives such as the BHIM app and Aadhaar-based money transfers.

On questions being raised such as the quantum of money brought back into the banking system post demonetisation, Naidu said it was being looked into by the RBI and it will be made known "in due course of time".

"The major achievement is that the entire money has come to the banks. Whether it is white or black will be known after scrutiny, which is on. Once it is completed, how much of it is black or white will be known," he said.

The Union minister said with more people coming into the tax net, the revenue of the government will go up and it will also lead to lower tax rates and benefits for the "honest tax-payers".

"The war will continue till the last rupee of black money is traced out. Since Independence, no prime minister or government has launched such a large multi-pronged major war against corruption or black money. This is how Prime Minister Modi is living up to the expectations of the people," he said.

Alleging that corruption was spreading like "cancer" and that no one was willing to take a bold step, Naidu asserted that demonetisation had "shaken the ways of black money holders and the corrupt by scrapping notes".

Targeting the Congress party for posing questions on demonetisation, the BJP leader demanded that the party first answer queries on why it did not "act", despite being in power for most of the period post Independence.

"What have you (Congress) done to unearth black money? You have been in power for more than 50 years," he said.

Naidu wanted to know why Justice KN Wanchoo Committee's recommendation in 1971 to go for demonetisation was not complied with and claimed that the then prime minister Indira Gandhi had told finance minister YB Chavan that "we have to fight polls" and the move was dropped.

In 2011, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to constitute a Special Investigation Team to probe black money stashed abroad. However, till May 2014, when the Congress was in power, it did "nothing" which showed that it "never had the political will to fight black money or corruption", he alleged.

The Union minister also sought to know why the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, which was enacted in 1988, was not notified by the Congress party all through its various regimes.

The act was amended last year and it came into force on November 1, 2016.

"Let the Congress explain to the people. You institutionalised tax evasion and corruption and the enforcement mechanism was selectively used," Naidu alleged.

"Now, instead of explaining to the people, you are running a disinformation campaign making absurd charges. I would like to know what is the stand of the Congress on demonetisation," he said, adding that the party "sung a different tune each time".

Asserting that the claims of the Congress on demonetisation will not be taken seriously, Naidu said, "Now, they are trying to form an alliance of four 'C's -- Congress, Communists, Casteists and Communalists. The fifth 'C' would be the corrupt.

"What is there to protest against? If demonetisation is bad, you should have come out in the open or raised it in Parliament."

The Union minister said it was not easy to "clean up the dirt accumulated in 50 years in 50 days".

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