Can't recollect any significant step Congress took to curb black money: Jaitley


"It is understandable that it would never be on the political agenda of their leadership".

While the Opposition led by the Congress is going to observe November 8 as the "black day", the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is going to mark the same day as the "anti-black money day".

Jaitley alleged that the Congress had never attempted to fight the menace of black money, and was lashing out at the saffron party due to their "inadequate understanding" of the situation. The Congress had adequate opportunity while being in power. The move, for which the BJP is still struggling to give a credible explanation, had wreaked havoc on the lives of common citizens who had to queue up for hours, at times even days, outside banks to get their demonetised notes deposited in their accounts or exchanged for legal tender.

The ruling BJP wants to celebrate the day as demonetisation was introduced to fight against corruption, black money and terror funding, which the Centre believes has succeeded in fulfilling.

"Mere entry of the cash into the system doesn't legitimise it". Instead, 18 lakh people were found to have deposited money disproportionate to their incomes, and were now being held accountable to pay tax.

The Congress accused Jaitley of giving people an untrue picture on the state of the country's economy and alleged that the Government lacked a plan to put the economy back on track.

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He also said that confiscation of the money was never the object to the demonetisation. Jaitley said that demonetisation has served all three objectives - to squeeze cash economy, promote digital transactions in business and widen the tax base.

Targeting the opposition parties, Jaitley said that it is obvious that those parties which were in power couldn't take action against black money as squeezing black money is not possible through baby steps.

Arun Jaitley's announcement of celebrating November 8 as "Anti-Black Money" Day came a day after the Opposition declared that it will observe the day as 'Black Day.' Prime Minister Modi had announced withdrawal of old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currencies from circulation on November 8, 2016.

The Finance Minister said the BJP would carry forward the debate by the opposition to polarise people against black money through its own campaign.

"On 8th November 2017, BJP will celebrate "Anti-Black Money Day" in the nation", said Jaitley, adding that ministers will travel across India to promote the day. "It just shows how ill-conceived it was".

Leader of Communist Party of India, D. Raja on Thursday asked the Government about the record of black money recovered after demonetisation.