Prime Minister Narendra Modi roday said that he was aware of the hardship people were facing because of the demonetisation move, but emphasized that it was necessary in the larger interests of the nation.
Addressing the Indian community in Japan’s Kobe, the Prime Minister said that people back home were hailing his decision of rendering Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes invalid but some of them were being prodded to speak against the government because of politics.
The Prime Minister termed the demonetisation as "Swachhata Abhiyan" and hailed the undaunting spirit of people despite their hardship following its announcement on November 8.
"I salute my countrymen. People stood in line for four hours, six hours but accepted the decision in national interest the way people of Japan tackled the aftermath of the 2011 disaster," he said.
"I thought long and hard about the possible difficulties and it was also important to keep it a secret. It had to be done suddenly but I never thought I will receive blessings for this," he added.
"I salute each and every Indian. Many families had weddings, health problems... yes they faced inconvenience but they accepted the decision," he further said.
He also said the government had not taken the decision on demonetization in haste and honest people that they will not face any trouble.
Hinting at more action to unearth black money, he said, "I would like to announce once again that after the end of this scheme, there is no guarantee that something new will not be introduced to punish you (thikane lagane ke liye)."
"I make it very clear that if anything unaccounted comes up, then I will check its records since Independence. Will deploy as many people as required for this. Honest people will not face any problem. No one will be spared. Those who know me, they are intelligent as well. They think it is better to offer it in Ganga than in banks," Modi added.
Apparently referring to the opposition which has attacked the government action, Modi said a section is trying to incite people for speaking out against him but people have accepted the decision in the national interest.
"Law should be equal for everyone. People are happy about the fact that even Modi's Rs 1000 notes are not usable anymore," Modi said.
Underlining that the world is acknowledging that India is the fastest growing economy among the large global economies, he said the country is also receiving historically high FDI.
"IMF, World Bank all are saying in one voice. IMF also said that India is the shining star. World economists believe
India is growing at a very fast rate...I have my own definitions (of FDI). The first definition is First Develop India and the second is the Foreign Direct Investment. India is receiving historically high rate of FDI," he said.
In the last two years, black money to the tune of Rs 1.25 lakh crore have been unearthed due to various initiatives of the government, Modi added.
* This government will do everything to protect the interests of honest citizens: PM Modi
* There is no guarantee that no new measure will be introduced after December 30 to crackdown on black money holders: PM Modi
* I will check records since Independence. If I come across unaccounted cash, no body will be spared: PM Modi
* Till 30 December, there will be no trouble caused to anyone. Everything that is yours, you will get it: PM Narendra Modi
* We had given 50 days to people to show their unaccounted wealth till September, before the government decided to render the large currency bills illegal tender: PM
This is not an overnight decision, first we had brought in a scheme. Its not that no opportunity was given, it was given: PM Modi
* I was pondering over the difficulties, our team was thinking of ways. But obviously I couldn't share it with anyone: PM Narendra Modi
* Money that has been looted has to be recovered. And the rules have to be same for everyone: PM Modi
* I know it is difficult. People are made to speak against Modi but I salute the people... some stood in the queues for five hours, six hours but endured the hardship. The same way as people in Japan endured in 2011: PM
I salute each & every Indian. Many families had weddings, health problems...yes they faced inconvenience but they accepted the decision: PM Modi
Despite two years of serious drought, the entire world has acknowledged that India is the fastest growing large economy globally
* In 2001, when Gujarat was hit by a strong earthquake, Kobe was the first to reach out to help: Narendra Modi
* I have had the good fortune of visiting you all even before I became the PM: Modi
Earlier in the day, while addressing a luncheon gathering of business leaders here, PM Modi recalled his association with Hyogo Prefecture and his visits to Kobe, a city on Osaka Bay in Japan, in 2007 and 2012.
The Prime Minister travelled to Kobe from Tokyo in Japan's famed high-speed Shinkansen bullet train along with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. He was received at Hyogo prefecture guest house. The Governor of Hyogo Toshizo Ido and Mayor of Kobe Kyuzo Hisamaoto were present at Hyogo house.