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Demonetisation Was a Moral Step, Organised Loot Happened Under UPA: Jaitley Hits Back

Demonetisation and GST roll-out have become major issues in the Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, with the main opposition maintaining that the two structural reform measures had adversely affected the economy.

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Updated:November 7, 2017, 8:08 PM IST
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Demonetisation Was a Moral Step, Organised Loot Happened Under UPA: Jaitley Hits Back
File photo of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
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New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday hit back at former prime minister Manmohan Singh for calling demonetisation "organised loot", saying that is what happened during the tenure of the previous UPA regime.

Saying that demonetisation was an "ethical drive and a moral step" that made corruption difficult, Jaitley told PTI that loot is what happened in 2G scam, commonwealth games and allocation of coal blocks.

"An anti-black money drive is (an) ethical drive, a moral step. And what is morally and ethically correct has to be politically correct," the minister said, targeting the former prime minister.

Calling the note ban a "reckless" exercise, Manmohan Singh said during an interactive session with businessmen and traders in Ahmedabad that "demonetisation was an organised loot and legalised plunder".

Demonetisation and GST roll-out have become major issues in the Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, with the main opposition maintaining that the two structural reform measures had adversely affected the economy.

The finance minister said while the 10 years of UPA government were characterised by "policy paralysis", the Modi dispensation introducted structural reforms to make India a developed nation and give it a cleaner economy.

Jaitley said the BJP believes that status quo in economy needed to be shaken up to end corruption. Taking on the Congress over the issue, Jaitley said the previous Congress governments never took any such big step against black money.

"The Congress' main aim is to serve the family whereas BJP wants to serve the nation," he said.

Elaborating on the benefits of demonetisation, the minister said it was aimed at making India a more formal economy with a broader tax base and less cash in the system. "Less cash in the system may not end corruption but makes corruption difficult," he said, adding terror funding got "squeezed" post-demonetisation.

(With PTI inputs)
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