Note ban, GST led to more digitisation, says Jaitley

Note ban, GST led to more digitisation, says Jaitley

Note ban, GST led to more digitisation, says Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that demonetisation and GST have led to greater digitisation in the country and increased the tax base.

Jaitley, however, said “invisible” election funding is still a problem that India is grappling with. Addressing the Delhi Economics Conclave here, the finance minister said he hoped more digitisation and less cash will be able to bring cleaner money into elections and make them more transparent.

“A problem I am right now grappling with and we have to really introspect is, for 70 years, India’s democracy has completely been funded by invisible money. Elected representatives, governments, political parties, Parliaments and, I must say, even the Election Commission has completely failed in checking it,” he said.

“…And therefore having failed to check for 70 years as to how the world’s largest democracy itself is being funded, the solution lies not in finding the fault but to suggest remedies. I, therefore, had suggested in this year’s Budget some solution and we are working on it,” he said.

The finance minister said that he had also asked political parties orally as well as in writing to come up with a better suggestion for clean election funding, but rued the fact that no political party has come out with a suggestion.

“Not one suggestion has come forward yet because people were quite satisfied with the existing system itself,” he said.

Jaitley in his Budget this year had suggested the use of election bonds and funding elections through cheques above a certain limit.

He said digitisation would not only block leakages in the system but also make funding more transparent. Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Therman Sanmugratnam, in his address, said that India was currently faced with the problem of joblessness and the government needed to change policies that were anti-employment.

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