NEW DELHI: A day before the government marks one year of demonetisation as “anti-Black Money Day”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a Facebook post that that country had moved on to a much cleaner, transparent and honest financial system since the notes ban, which he described as a “watershed moment” in the history of India’s economy.
Conceding that the benefits of the move “may not yet be visible to some people”, he said, “The next generation will view post November, 2016 national economic development with a great sense of pride as it has provided them a fair and honest system to live in.”
The Congress has pledged to mark the notes ban anniversary as a “Black Day” that caused hardship to millions. With polls ahead in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, both the government and the opposition have a point to make.
Mr Jaitley, acknowledging the debate on whether demonetisation had served its purpose, said Indians were for long forced to live with the “chalta hai attitude” when it came to corruption and black money, and the middle class and lower strata.
“It was a hidden urge of the larger section of our society for a long period to root out the curse of corruption and black money; and it was this urge which manifested in the verdict of people in May 2014,” he said.
Mr Jaitley said one of the intended objectives of the notes ban was to put identity on the cash holdings in the economy.”With the return of Rs.15.28 lakh crore in the formal banking system, almost entire cash holding of the economy now has an address. It is no more anonymous,” he wrote.
He listed in his report card the various benefits of the notes ban:
1.56 lakh new individual tax payers have filed their returns till August 5, compared to about 22 lakh last year.
2.The leads gathered due to data collected during demonetisation have led to the identification of 2.97 lakh suspect shell companies.
3.Many of these companies are found to have more than 100 bank accounts; one company had 2,134 accounts.
4.110 crore transactions, valued at around Rs.3.3 lakh crore and another 240 crore transactions, valued at Rs.3.3 lakh crore were carried out through credit cards and debit cards.
5.Mr Jaitley said “the reduction in stone pelting, protests in Jammu and Kashmir and Naxal activities are also attributed to the impact of demonetisation as these miscreants have run out of cash”.