On the fourth anniversary of demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to say that it has helped reduce black money, increase tax compliance and formalization, and given a boost to transparency.
On 8 November 2016, the prime minister had demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes — ostensibly to check the burgeoning black money in the economy. Following the measure that had long been advocated by some groups, the government conducted surveys that “led to the unearthing of undisclosed income worth several crores. The government said Operation Clean Money had helped formalise the economy.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on 8 November, “Demonetisation not only brought transparency and widened the tax base, It curbed counterfeit currency and increased circulation.”
Underlining the merits of demonetisation, in a series of tweets, Sitharaman said: “To fulfil its promise of freeing India from corruption, the Modi govt implemented Demonetisation 4 years ago on this day, today. The move that was an unprecedented attack on Black Money led to better tax compliance and a major push to the digital economy.”
The finance minister said further that Rs 900 crore of undisclosed income was seized in the first four months after demonitisation. And in the last three years, assets worth Rs 3,950 crores were seized.
Former Indian National Congress (INC) president Rahul Gandhi slammed the government over demonetisation, alleging that Prime Minister Modi’s move four years ago was aimed at helping a few of his “crony capitalist friends” and had “destroyed” the Indian economy.
In a video released as part of the party’s online ‘SpeakUpAgainstDeMoDisaster’ campaign, Gandhi said the question is how the economy of Bangladesh “surpassed” the Indian economy as there was a time when India used to be one of the most high performing economies of the world.
“The government says that the reason is COVID but if that is the reason, there is COVID in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world. The reason is not COVID, the reason is ‘Notebandi’ and GST,” Gandhi said in Hindi.
“Four years ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi began an assault on the Indian economy. He hurt farmers, labourers and small shopkeepers. Manmohan Singh Ji said the economy will lose 2% and that is what we saw,” the former INC chief said.
On 8 November 2016, Prime Minister Modi announced the decision to ban all currency notes of higher denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 from midnight.