New Delhi, Nov 29 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked BJP MPs, Ministers and MLAs to submit their bank account statements between November 8, the day he announced the demonetisation, and December 31 to party chief Amit Shah amid allegation that he had tipped off people close to him about the impending exercise beforehand. Modi also asserted that he will not allow the country to be weighed down by the burden of black money, in remarks aimed at underlining his commitment to probity in public life and countering opposition’s charge that demonetisation of old high-value currency notes was politically motivated.
In his address at the BJP Parliamentary party meeting, he also rejected the criticism that the bill to amend the Income Tax Act will help turn black money into white and said the new provisions will channel the money “looted from the poor” for their welfare. The Bill passed by the Lok Sabha later in the day. The amended Act, he said, is a programme for the poor’s welfare from Lok Kalyan Marg, the new name of Race Course road where the Prime Minister’s residence is located.
“The amendment is not for turning black money into white but to spend the money looted from the poor on their welfare,” he said, adding “I will not allow the country to be weighed down by wads of currency notes (black money).” Quoting Modi, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters that the bill is part of his government’s fight against black money. A part of the tax collected on the money deposited under this scheme will be spent on electricity, roads, toilets and education among other welfare measures, he said.
Modi also sought everybody’s support in his effort to usher in digital and mobile economy, and push the society towards cashless transactions. At the meeting, Amit Shah told party MPs to motivate traders in panchayats, municipalities and other local bodies falling in their constituency to shift to cashless transactions.
Shah said the party is not in power to “enjoy its fruits” but to solve problems facing the country and asked leaders to counter the opposition’s “disinformation” on demonetisation. He added such disinformation does not last long but stays longer in rural areas and stressed on the need to counter it. Power Minister Piyush Goyal also made a presentation on mobile and internet money transactions.
The BJP Parliamentary Party also congratulated its Maharashtra unit on its win in local polls, which have been projected as an evidence of popular support to demonetisation. Asked about impasse in Parliament over demonetisation, Kumar said the government has been ready for discussion from day one of the winter session and Modi will also intervene in both the Houses if the opposition wanted. The opposition wants discussion under Rule 56 which entails voting, a condition unacceptable to the government.