Published: Fri, October 27, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

Can't recollect any significant step Congress took to curb black money: Jaitley

Can't recollect any significant step Congress took to curb black money: Jaitley

While the Opposition announced on Tuesday that they would mark November 8, 2017, as "Black Day", Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressing a press conference on Wednesday said that the BJP would celebrate November 8, 2017, as "Anti-Black Money Day" across the nation.

This is because of the belief in the Narendra Modi led government, which said that the move will unearth treasuries of black money which remained unexcavated during the UPA regime.

The statement went on: "A government that came to power on the promise of bringing black money of Rs 80 lakh crore and depositing Rs 15 lakh in every Indian's account stands exposed today for its abject failure, utter falsehood and rampant corruption".

Jaitley also underlined that the objective behind the demonetization move was "not to confiscate money" from people, but to increase tax base and squeeze illegal transactions, counterfeit money, terror funding, cash transactions, and to increase digital transactions.

The Congress has said if morality and accountability are still virtues in Indian politics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should resign and apologise to the nation for the demonetisation "demon" instead of celebrating the "unpardonable blunder".

"Congress had adequate opportunity to be in power, and I can't recollect a single significant step that they ever took against black money", said Jaitley.

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"They have reconciled to India living with black money. It is understandable this would never be on political agenda of Congress leadership", he added. "I can quite understand their discomfort". As it is going to be a year since the Narendra Modi government made a decision to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes as a part of demonetisation on November 8 last year, both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre and the Opposition are coming up with their own versions of "note ban". "This displays their inadequate understanding", Jaitley said.

"Mere entry of the cash into the system doesn't legitimise it". "The goal of this amendment was to curb the purchase of gold and jewellery for conversion of black money".

On November 8, the party will organise programmes highlighting all the steps the government has taken against black money.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told the media here, "Possibly, this is the first time that a decision announced by the Prime Minister had to be changed 135 times".

The Congress and other opposition parties have announced they will observe "black day" on November 8 across states to protest the note ban, which had sucked out 86% of the currency in circulation at that time.

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