With just a day left for the 50-day deadline for demonetisation's benefits to show, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has claimed that the move has forced black money, whether belonging to corrupt politicians or bureaucrats, out in the open.
In an interview with India Today magazine, excerpts of which in text form were telecast by a group news channel, Modi said counterfeit Indian currency notes available with the enemies were instantly neutralised.
"Black money has been forced out into the open, whomsoever it may belong to, whether it is corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen or professionals," said Modi on the outcome of his 8 November sudden move to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.
"Counterfeit notes, which our intelligence agencies have reported to be available in big volumes with our enemies, have been instantly neutralised. Similarly, cash held by terrorists, Maoists and other extremists has also been neutralised. There has been a crippling impact on dangerous and highly damaging illegal activities such as human trafficking and the narcotics trade as well," he added.
"One must be able to distinguish between neeti (policy) and rann neeti (strategy) and not put them in the same basket. The decision of demonetisation, which reflects our neeti, is unequivocally clear, unwavering and categorical," the prime minister said.
"Our rann neeti, however, needed to be different, aptly summarised by the age-old saying of tu daal daal, main paat paat. We must stay two steps ahead of the enemy. When problems are identified, we respond promptly and take necessary steps," he added.
Modi said it speaks of the government's "agility in responding quickly and keeping up with the evolving situation".
"I know many will prefer if we issue one guideline and then allow them to walk roughshod over it. Let me assure them that no such thing will happen," Modi said.
The prime minister also clarified that the objective behind the decision was to clean up the economy and curb the menace of black money.
"Our objective was to clean up the economy and society of the menace of black money, purging the distrust, artificial pressures and other ills that came with it," he said.
"The revenue collected will be used for the welfare of the poor, downtrodden and the marginalised."
Modi also urged citizens not to regard digital transactions as a short-term substitute for cash payments.
"Digital transactions should not be viewed as a short-term substitute for cash payments," Modi told India Today magazine in an interview.
"Digital transactions facilitate formal accounting and sizing of the economy," he said.
"They also deliver greater tax compliance," he added.
On former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Modi said, "Regarding Manmohan Singh ji, it is interesting that the words 'monumental mismanagement' came from a leader who has been at the helm of India's economic journey for around 45 years."
"His reference to organised loot was perhaps a reference to the unending string of scams under his leadership... From the coal scam, to 2G and CWG scam. Demonetisation on the other hand is an unprecedented step to confiscate the loot of the corrupt," he said.
"I pity a few of our opponents, especially the Congress leadership, for the desperation they have been exhibiting. Congress leaders are entirely preoccupied with only one thing — elections. There is nothing political in the demonetisation," Modi said.
The prime minister said: "It was a tough decision taken to clean our economy and our society. If I were guided by short-term electoral politics, I would have never done so."
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Updated Date: Dec 29, 2016 21:32:19 IST