New Delhi, Nov 24: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley lashed out at the Opposition outside the Parliament, accusing them of being underprepared on debating the issue of demonetisation. Jaitley lashed out at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who made scathing remarks against the government’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. Hitting back at Manmohan Singh’s allegation that demonetisation will cause irreversible damage to the Indian economy, Jaitley urged him to recall the high-profile scandals during his tenure, which robbed the exchequer of lakhs of crores.

“Previous government had no courage to take strong, decisive steps to benefit the nation. This government is ready to break the status quo in interest of the nation,” Jaitley said. He advised Manmohan Singh to revisit the era of UPA government when he presided over it. Entire nation has seen the scandalous government when crores of black money were generated. Today, the Prime Minister of that scandalous government feels that demonetisation is a blunder. Were 2G, Coalgate and Commonwealth not blunders? Why you feel that a move which will curb black money and crackdown on corruption is a blunder?

Further hitting out at Manmohan Singh, Jaitley added, “Any economist should look at demonetisation not through the prism of its immediate impact, but seeing an India post-demonetisation. As far as long term impact of demonetisation is concerned, it would be beneficial for the nation and economy. The strength and condition of banks would get improved. Banks which were struggling with non-performing assets (NPAs) would now be in a better condition to generate loans at lower rates of interests. Over medium and long-term, demonetisation will absolutely aid the Indian economy.”

Jaitley reiterated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the debate, but added that the Opposition does not want to indulge in a genuine debate. “Opposition is changing the goalposts. They are underprepared,” Jaitley alleged.

Earlier in the Rajya Sabha, Manmohan Singh said that demonetisation is a disastrous move, which could reduce the Indian GDP by 2 per cent. Manmohan Singh also pointed out the massive inconvenience caused to people due to demonetisation, saying “60-65 people have died outside the queues so far.”