Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday, 07 November 2017 that demonetisation is a turning point in the country’s economic history and has provided the next generation with a fair and honest system to live in.
In a blog 1,843 words long, Arun Jaitley said that, November 8, 2016 signifies the resolve of the government of India to cure the country from the disease of black money. He said that the day would be remembered as a watershed moment in the books of history of Indian economy. Doing an overall analysis, he said, it would right to say that the country has moved on to a more cleaner, transparent and honest financial system.
On the eve of the demonetisation, which invalidated 86 per cent of the currency in circulation, Mr. Jaitley said that it has met its objective of reducing cash in our economy, ending the anonymity of cash, brought more individuals inside the tax net and all the while dealt a blow to black money holders.
He said that the benefits of the move may not yet be visible to some people but the next generation of India would view the decision with a great sense of pride.
On November 8 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the demonetisation of Rs.1,000 and old Rs.500 notes for fighting corruption, removing black money, cutting terror funding and removing fake currency in one stroke. Total currency worth Rs.17 lakh crore approx. was in circulation in country on November 8 2016. Around Rs.15 lakh crore worth of currency was withdrawn and as on June 30, 2017, approx. Rs.15 lakh crore has been deposited back in banks.
Mr. Jaitley said that post demonetisation, the currency in circulation is less by more than Rs.3 lakh crore. This meets with the objective of less cash economy in order to reduce the flow of black money in to the system.
The removal of anonymity has led to 56 lakh new individual tax payers who are filing returns this year and self-assessment tax paid by non-corporates has increased by 34%. The leads gathered during demonetisation period have led to the identification of 2.9 lakh suspected shell companies and 2.24 lakh companies were de-registered as a result. Actions were taken to freeze their bank accounts. He said that more than 28,000 companies had deposited and approx. withdrawn Rs.10,000 crore from 50,000 bank accounts before they were struck off.
The Income Tax Department took action against more than a thousand shell companies that were used by over 22,000 beneficiaries in laundering more than Rs.13,300 crore. To stop further money laundering, SEBI has introduced a Graded Surveillance Measure at stock exchanges.
He said that incidences of pelting of stones and protests in J&K and naxal activities in affected districts have reduced as an impact of demonetisation as these miscreants have run out of cash.
He also said that demonetisation led to a leap in digital payments. And more than 350 crore transactions, valued at around Rs.6.6 lakh crore were carried out through credit cards and debit cards. The value of transactions for debit and credit cards was Rs.4 lakh crore during 2015-16.
Jaitley said that, with the return of cash in the banking system, now almost entire cash holding in the economy can be tracked. This inflow includes suspicious transactions ranging over Rs.1 lakh crore. The tax administration is now using data analytics to find and crack suspicious transactions.