Demonetisation anniversary: BJP, Congress set stage for a face-off

Demonetisation anniversary: BJP, Congress set stage for a face-off

Dr. Singh criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project - the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train corridor, saying the project was "an exercise in vanity".

Says demonetisation helped China's economyAHMEDABAD Usually a man of few words, Congress leader and former PM Manmohan Singh chose to go all guns blazing against the Modi government as he amplified his party's attack on the BJP ahead of Gujarat polls with facts and figures. While opposition parties have made a decision to observe Wednesday as a "black day", the BJP has dubbed it "anti-black money day". He added: "Demonetisation has proved to be a mere blister to reap political dividends while the real offenders have escaped". "While denigrating the past, the PM also tends to exaggerate what he will do in the future". To promote a less cash economy, cursive steps like demonetization is ineffective and the cash in circulation after one year is close to 90% of the previous levels, he added.

Emphasizing the benefits of demonetisation-specifically, the message it sent out against black money-Jaitley reiterated that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had from its inception targeted black money by forming a special investigation team (SIT), amending the country's bilateral tax treaties and coming up with an anti-black money law.

"A step like demonetisation and if you link it to various steps government has taken, I think we've succeeded in bringing to centrestage the issue of how financial transactions in a country like India ought to be carried out", the FM said.

While addressing the traders and businessmen in Ahmedabad on Tuesday morning, Manmohan Singh said that he was shocked to hear the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 Nov past year and was thinking who could have suggested him to take such a reckless step. "Individual tax payers' number has increased, digital transactions have gone up and terror funding has squeezed", Jaitley said on eve of note ban anniversary. "I repeat, it was organised loot and legalised plunder", Singh said, referring to a similar statement in Parliament past year. It had been suggested many times in the past as well, but as a responsible government, we never took such a drastic measure.

He said no world democracy had undertaken such a "coercive" move of withdrawing 86 per cent of legal tenders in one single swoop.

Hours after the former Prime Minister's speech, Finance Minister Jaitley strongly defended the economic reforms calling note ban a "watershed moment in the history of the Indian economy". Every one percent loss of GDP annually costs our nation 1.5 lakh crore rupees.

"I repeat what I said in the parliament".

Hitting out at the government over the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax, Singh said compliance requirements under GST had become a nightmare for small businesses.

Earlier in an interview to Bloomberg Quint, the former prime minister had called demonetisation a catastrophic economic policy whose impact on weaker sections was far more damaging than revealed by an economic indicator. "These twin blows damaged India's SME sector and our businesses had to run to Chinese imports at the cost of Indian jobs", Singh said. The former prime minister expressed his concern over the "creeping culture of erosion of institutions & their credibility". The government did not heed to our advice on demonetisation.