PM taking futuristics steps, Rahul wants to disrupt Par: FM

PM taking futuristics steps, Rahul wants to disrupt Par: FM
Hitting out at Congress for opposing demonetisation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said Rahul Gandhi was looking for ways to disrupt Parliament and his party was siding with "black money friendly status quo", when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being "futuristic" to create a technology-driven cleaner economy.

Jaitley said that Congress, despite being a national party, has decided to adopt a political position, opposing both technology, change and reforms, but their "exaggerated claims on the disruption of the economy have proved wrong". In a Facebook post, titled 'Demonetisation -- A look back at the last two months', the Finance Minister said there was a marked difference in the approach of the Prime Minister and his opponents.

"The Prime Minister was being futuristic, and thinking of a more modern, technology driven cleaner economy. He is now speaking of cleaning the political funding systems. His opponents want a cash dominated, cash generating and cash exchange system to continue. "The difference between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi was clear -- the Prime Minister was thinking of the next generation while Rahul Gandhi was only looking at how to disrupt the next Session of Parliament,"  Jaitley wrote.

After the shock demonetisation of Rs 500/1000 notes announced by Modi on November 8, the opposition Congress and Trinamool-led protests disrupted about a month-long winter session of Parliament which ended on December 16. Last month, Gandhi had attacked Modi over demonetisation dubbing it as the "biggest scam in the history of India". There are fears that Opposition might also disturb the Budget session, which is scheduled to begin on January 31 with President's address to both the Houses of Parliament.

In his post, Jaitley said there was no social unrest while implementing a major decision like demonetisation and cited opinion polls conducted by media organisations which said that an overwhelmingly large percentage of people have supported the government's decision. "The opposition disrupted a full session of Parliament. Their protests have been ineffective. Their exaggerated claims on the disruption of the economy have proved wrong. It is a tragedy that a national party like the Congress decided to adopt a political position, opposing both technology, change and reforms. It sided with black money friendly status quo," Jaitley said.

Belying fears of slowdown in industrial activity post demonetisation, the indirect tax collection in November, 2016 alone grew 23.1 per cent to Rs 67,358 crore. The total April-November, 2016 realisation grew 26.2 per cent to Rs 7.53 lakh crore, he said. Jaitley had earlier said revenue trends show that the impact of note ban has not been as much as estimated by critics.

"Of course there would be areas which would be adversely impacted, but what was predicted by the critics has to have a rationale with revenue collection... Assessment can be unreal but revenue is real,” he said. Between April-December 19, 2016, the increase in income tax was 14.4 per cent and, after adjusting for large refunds, the net increase is 13.6 per cent.

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