Govt, opposition spar over demonetisation policy, GST

Demonetisation, GST benefited the country: Biren

DIPR/STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 8th Nov: Chief Minister N Biren Singh has maintained that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bold step of invalidating circulation of high denomination notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 was welcomed by the people of the country though it affected a lot to wealthy people who don’t pay taxes. Moreover, demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) benefited various sectors of the country.

The Chief Minister was speaking during the observance of “Anti Black Money” Day here Wednesday to mark announcement of the demonetisation policy on this day last year.

Chief Minister Biren further reminded that the main objectives of demonetisation were not only to eradicate black money, check circulation of fake currency and curb funding of terrorist groups, drugs and illegal arms smugglings, but also to encourage cashless transactions and use digital wallets, credit/debit cards for money transfer for a transparent National Economy.

One of the biggest achievements of demonetisation was that it pushed the country towards a digital economy and brought about a digital transaction revolution in the country.

After demonetisation, there has been a 58 percent increase in digital financial transactions in the country. As a part of digital economy revolution, 52.4 crore Aadhaar cards have been linked with 73.62 crore bank accounts, he added.

Stating that objective of demonetisation was not just limited to curbing black money, the CM contended that the government has also taken up certain steps to curb Benami transactions and use of black money in real estate deals.

He also mentioned that after the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), there has been an increase in government revenue collection. In Manipur too, the state government has able to collect a sum of Rs 184.31 crore as revenue during July-September, 2017, he added.

The Chief Minister went on to claim that there has been a substantial increase in the numbers of Income Tax Returns and demonetisation has boosted income tax collections in the country. The number of income tax payers has been drastically increased from 66.53 lakh in 2015-16 to 84.21 lakh in 2016-17. For the 2016-17 fiscal, around two crore individuals have filed e-returns. For the current year 2017-18, around 3.01 crore individuals have filed e-returns till now.

According to the reports by Banks and Financial institutions, around 4.7 lakh illegal financial transactions are under scanner in the post demonetisation period in the country, he mentioned.

Biren recalled that under the UPA regime from 2004-2014, the then Government allocated a sum of Rs 627 crore only for the construction of Jiri-Tupul Railway line in Manipur. However, with the advent of NDA government under the leadership of Narendra Modi, the Central government has earmarked Rs 9,658 crore for the said railway project.

He further stated that the railway project is set to be completed by December, 2019, three months earlier than the stipulated time. The Centre has promised to allocate Rs 25,000 crore for the construction of highways in the state and the construction works on Barak and Makru bridge have already begun.

With the installation of the new BJP-led government in Manipur, the chief minister maintained various social welfare schemes have been launched and implemented. These include providing LPG connection to 21,320 families under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. Under the MUDRA scheme, Rs 66.72 crore has been sanctioned to provide loans to 9,879 individuals for the year 2017-18. Out of the total sanctioned amount, Rs 63.26 crore has been already given away to the beneficiaries. With an aim to provide Housing for All by 2022, 39,000 houses PMAY (Gramin) and 26,462 houses under PMAY (Urban) would be constructed in the state, the chief minister added.

The Anti-Black Money Day was also observed at the office of BJP Manipur Pradesh, which was attended by the CM and Rajya Sabha MP Kshetrimayum Bhabananda.

Interacting with media persons on the sidelines of the observance, chief minister Biren said that the true worth and value of PM Modi's demonetisation move is the benefits that the poor are enjoying today. He remarked: "Every good thing will always have a difficult beginning but as everyone knows now, the poor are reaping the benefits of demonetisation. In Manipur alone, there used to be only 60 lakh households with electricity, but after demonetisation 90 lakh households have been electrified."

He further said that those people who have objected to demonetisation and are complaining that the move has hurt the people, have vested interests. Politicians should serve the people and not do business on the side. One should follow the ideals of PM Modi to better serve the public.

In his address, MP Bhabananda said that BJP will always rejoice the day when the move to remove black money was implemented. The previous UPA government had originally tried to implement demonetisation but failed due to strong opposition from all parties. Under the strong leadership of Modi, the NDA government was able to do what its predecessors could not.

Meanwhile, to mark the “Anti Black Money” Day observance, BJP Yaiskul Mandal organised a discussion session at Yaiskul Moirangkhom Keithel.

Similar observances were also held at Pangei bazar by BJP Khundrakpam Mandal and at Noney Bazar by BJP Nungba Mandal, which was attended by Manipur Disaster Management committee Vice Chairman Adim Pamei and BJP Manipur Pradesh Protocol Officer L Birjit.

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