Defending the the demonetisation move and listing out several measures undertaken by the NDA government to fight corruption and black money circulation, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the usage of cash only boosts parallel economy and thus it must be curbed.
He said demonetisation was just a part of the several initiatives taken by the government to weed out black money.
The fight against corruption and black money should not be seen as a political fight, Jaitley said, adding that the demonetisation move was primarily aimed at weeding out the ills of society.
“It is no credit to any economy that you deal in cash… cash has a lot of vices,” he said in the Rajya Sabha, just before PM Narendra Modi’s address in the Upper House. Jaitley said most other countries are “less-cash” economies and people must be encouraged to adopt technology and move towards a digital economy.
Taking a dig at Congress leader Anand Sharma, who said the government was not throwing any light on the status of the H1B visa, Jaitley said the leader was blaming the NDA for the policies that the new US government was coming up with.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Sharma said the demonetisation exercise had put the common man in utter distress and uncertainty since the Indian economy was largely cash-based.
Just after assuming office, the government set up a Supreme Court monitored special investigation team (SIT) to address the menace of illegal money. The government also renegotiated tax treaties and automatic information exchange agreements with various tax havens, including Switzerland and Mauritius. The government negotiated an Automatic Information Exchange Agreement with Switzerland. It has renegotiated the Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Mauritius. Besides, the government also launched the income disclosure scheme — a one-time window offered to those hoarding black money to come clean. Recently, it also initiated the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana as part of the demonetisation exercise.