Ready to pay 'political price' for steps taken to fight corruption, says Modi

Ready to pay 'political price' for steps taken to fight corruption, says Modi

Ready to pay 'political price' for steps taken to fight corruption, says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday declared that he was prepared to pay a political price for fighting corruption as part of his government's wider efforts to change the "broken system" of the past 70 years.

"In 2014, people didn't vote only to change the government. They voted to change the system; they voted for a system that is permanent, irreversible…a system that is corruption-free, citizen-centric and development-friendly," said Modi at a newspaper event.    

The prime minister who has faced criticism for demonetisation and GST said these measures had left the corrupt scared and brought black money into the formal economy.

"There is a behaviour change in the country you can see today… the corrupt are afraid to deal with black money and there is a healthy and clean corporate culture," he said.

Asserting that nobody would be allowed come in the way of the government's will to usher in good changes to make life better for Indians,  Modi said, "I may have to pay a political price for the path I have taken but I'm ready for it."

The prime minister  reiterated that the top priority of his government was to create a corruption-free, citizen-centric and development-friendly ecosystem in India.

"When we came to power in  2014, what we got from the previous government was an economy which was in bad shape, our fiscal order and banking system, all were in tatters. India was then counted in fragile five," he said.

"People have had to fight with the system. It's my endeavour to end that fight, change that permanently, irreversibly," said Modi.

"Our biggest priority is to bring transparency based on sound policies that leave little scope for error and leakages. Through these reforms, the government is helping secure rights and subsidies to the poor," he added.    

The prime minister said the information the clampdown on cash had unearthed on the "black economy" was a treasure trove.

"A treasure trove data has emerged, the mining of which has unearthed information that more than 400-500 companies are being run from a single address. About 1.25 lakh companies have been deregistered and their directors have been held responsible. There are some big names in that list and they have been prevented from becoming directors in some other companies," the prime minister claimed.  

He described Aadhaar, which is facing legal challenges over privacy concerns, as an "irreversible change." It would be used to track "benami property", he said.