Yoga guru Swami Ramdev today said that he stood by his demand that Rs 2000 currency notes should be withdrawn from circulation in order to curb black money.
Replying to questions from Rajat Sharma at the daylong India TV Samvaad Budget conclave, Ramdev said, "All transactions (in Rs 2000 notes) should be made transparent, so that the honest do not face problems. I however stand by my demand that Rs 2000 notes should be withdrawn from circulation." ('2,000 ka note band ho')
Asked what happened to his demand for return of offshore black money, Ramdev replied: "The government demonetized high value currency notes, raids are being carried out against big shots, and GST has been introduced."
When Rajat Sharma pointedly asked about how much offshore black money has returned, Ramdev replied: " Peanuts. (Oont ke moonh mein jeera). The black money that came back was negligent. Our economy is very large. There is black money, 'block money', and there is too much unaccounted money in our internal economy. Government is trying to bring transparency."
The yoga guru, who runs a huge Patanjali FMCG empire, said, "the entire country is facing problems because of GST. Ninety per cent people do not know how to file GST returns. There is need for bringing awareness. Can anybody sitting here tell me what are trans 1 and trans 2 forms?...The government must take a big initiative. It should tell traders how to fill up GST returns."
Asked whether the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has accepted his demand to remove GST on cow urine, Ramdev replied: "I had a talk with Jaitley Ji, he will remove it."
The yoga guru did not mince words when he said, he was not happy with the functioning of AYUSH ministry. "I am not happy with the working of AYUSH ministry. We have to think out of the box. Experts who know about yoga, ayurveda should be sitting in the ministry, but if some people sit there because of lobbying, this is unfair."
"Normally Modi Ji's governance is fine. AYUSH ministry was his dream project. This ministry is three years old. The appointment of a drugs controller general was cleared three years ago by the cabinet and finance (ministry). But nobody has been appointed till date. I don't know which lobby is working."
Ramdev said: "In AYUSH ministry, yoga and ayurveda matter the most. If we had been given some responsibility, we could have enhanced Modi government's prestige, and we could have promoted yoga. But there is too much politics going on. I do not want to speak about those who are being brought forward."
"After independence, our health ministry was actually a ministry for allopathy. Now after AYUSH ministry has been set up, it seems that Modi Ji is a bit diffident. (duvidha hai) If he does anything for ayurveda, people will say that he is favouring baba (Ramdev). You cannot promote ayurveda without assigning work to those who have knowledge, skill, experience, aggression and performance. I want to say, if Modi government allows us to work, we can do very good work on a small budget, and like the multinational companies, we can force allopathy to do a sheershaasan.(stand them up on their head)"
Swami Ramdev called for lowering the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG. "Prices of petrol, diesel and LPG are much less compared to ours, and government should lower prices."
On the GOBARDHAN project announced in the project, the yoga guru said, "Lakhs of crores of rupees used to be given for urea and DAP fertilizer, and there used to be scams. Modi government introduced neem coating to stop this. Organic farming was promoted. Prices of cowdung should be more than urea. The government's move is a good beginning. If implemented properly, people can be protected from cancer. Ninety per cent of carcinogenic chemicals get mixed with water and air, and enter our food chain."
Ramdev praised the government for fixing MSP for kharif crops at one and a half times the actual cost, and introducing Rs 5 lakh medical insurance care for 10 crore poor families.