India: Modi justifies demonetisation amid criticism – 6 Sep 2017

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi justified demonetisation which has come in for criticism, asserting that his government was not afraid of taking “big” and “tough” decisions in the interest of the country.
  • Addressing the Indian diaspora in Myanmar, he said his government could take such decisions because it considers the country above politics. Along with demonetisation announced on 8 Nov 16, he named the surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in 2016 and the GST which was rolled out on 1 Jul 17 as the “big” and “tough” decisions taken by his government.
  • Referring to the note ban, the prime minister said the step was taken to curb black money and that it had helped identify hundreds of thousands of people who had millions of rupees in bank accounts but never paid income tax.
  • He also said that registration of over 200,000 companies had been cancelled in last three months as those had been found to be indulging in laundering of black money.
  • Modi said over the last three years, his government had initiated massive changes and rules were being eased to unshackle the potential of the country. “We are not merely reforming India but transforming India. We are not changing India, but we are building a new India,” he said, adding 2022 was the target year to achieve this as it coincides with the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence.
  • In the context of building a new India, he talked about the pledge to rid the country of problems like terrorism, communalism and corruption.

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