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Demonetisation a massive exercise, the kind never seen before anywhere in the world: Arun Jaitley

The Financial Express logo The Financial Express 17-02-2017 FE Online

Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's much-debated demonetisation move claiming perhaps such massive exercise has not happened in any country. FM Jaitley said this while speaking at the foundation day programme of Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL). "If ever a research is done on demonetisation, a chapter would talk about printing speed, also keeping secretive printing done in advance," FM Arun Jaitley said. "Making comments is the easiest thing during demonetisation and remonetisation, and the most difficult job is to implement it," he said.Aftermath of the Centre's decision to scrap higher Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes, FM Jaitley has time to time defended the move and listed out benefits of it.

Earlier, FM Jaitley had said the purpose of demonetisation is served as it had led to "larger and cleaner GDP"."Demonetisation was a bold and decisive strike in a series of measures to arrive at a bigger, cleaner and real GDP," Jaitley had said, according to PTI. The finance minister has adopted Karnali and Chandod villages in Vadodara district.

"Demonetisation has positive impact and India is moving to less cash economy," he said, adding the country is moving towards "digitalisation". "There is greater integration of informal economy taking place with formal economy that leads to larger and cleaner GDP, that was our objective behind the decision on demonetisation," said the Finance Minister.

On November 8 last year, the Narendra Modi government announced the demonetisation of higher value currency notes.

On the Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme, mooted in governments economic survey this year, Jaitley said "UBI is an idea worth considering and should be discussed by all the political parties". "The combined effect of the Goods and Services Tax and demonetisation would take India to a new path of reforms, enabling large part of informal economy into the formal economy," he added.

According to Jaitley, the integration of the informal economy into a formal one would lead to higher tax revenue and thereby lower tax rates.

On rate cut, he said, "It is prerogative of the RBI to take decision on it. The banks have already reduced interest rates in recent past. Due to demonetisation, the banks are flooded with fix deposits as it has registered significant growth in the fixed deposits".

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