BJP President Amit Shah has said that the 50-day deadline, ending December 30, was fixed after much "careful planning", and most of the cash crunch woes at ATMs and banks would be over by this deadline. Business in factories will be back to normal in two months, he added.
Replying to questions from Rajat Sharma in the show Aap Ki Adalat, to be telecast tonight at 10 pm on India TV, Amit Shah said, the decision to demonetize Rs 500- and Rs 1000-notes on November 8, was "not done in a hurry".
"Neither was anything kept secret from RBI, nor was it not consulted, the decision (to demonetize) was taken after adequate consultations by the Prime Minister at the small forum, and all administrative nitty-gritty was gone through. The decision was not taken in a hurry, nor was there any reason to be in a hurry."
On the current cash crunch, Shah said: "The cash crunch is because of delay in printing currency notes, and its taking time to distribute, that's why the 50-day deadline was set after careful planning. I am not saying that after 50-day deadline the queues (at banks) will be fully over, but most of the woes would be over in 50 days".
The BJP chef also expressed hope that business at factories would be back to normal in two months. "The factories are closed, not because of (lack of) cash. The factories are closed because, nearly 30 to 40 per cent of transactions that were not taking place earlier in cheques, will now change, the system will now change, and the traders will show these transactions in books..whenever the system undergoes changes, some changes do occur. After two months it will slowly be back to normal in units that are now closed.
"It means there will then be a large turnover compared to the turnover that was on November 8, because the entire trade will now slowly be reflected in books. It is also not correct to say that most of the factories are presently closed, because government revenue statistics for November do not show much decline. Of course, there has been a slight recession, which is a reality."
The BJP president said: "I know people standing outside ATMs and banks are losing their patience, I emphathize with them, but I also know, nearly 80 crore poor people in this country are also losing patience because of lack of electricity, roads, drinking water and education, the army needs funds for modernization, we need more satellites, more connectivity. But what we are doing in the name of manufacturing, is that, we are only doing work as labourers, the money goes out of the country to those having IPR patents, there is no R&D, our youths need at least 50 clusters to innovate.
"In the last 8 years, our plan budget has been hanging between Rs 4.2 lakh crore and Rs 4.8 lakh crore, and this money has to be allocated for rural roads, education and all other programmes. ..India cannot take a leap forward on a mere Rs 4.8 lakh crore budget. The parallel economy is eating into our economy like termites (deemak). Unless we deal a fatal blow to the parallel economy, our plan budget can never increase to Rs 15 lakh crore. And, I am sure, our move against parallel economy and black money hoarders will bear good fruits. I can confidently say that this has been a good beginning and in 2019, the people of India will start feeling its results."
Describing the demonetization step as a "multi-dimensional, far-reaching" decision taken in the national interest, Shah said, the positive fallouts of the decision have been: it has broken the back of terrorism and Naxalism in one stroke. "Ask any intelligence agency officer, he will tell you how Naxalism is now on the verge of decline. Also, in one stroke, this step has ended counterfeit money, it has also ended the use of black money in elections, and has put a stop to parallel economy."
Shah warned that all black money hoarders "will be put behind bars".
"Nobody will be spared, whosoever high he may be. CBI, Income Tax and ED are investigating into each and every big seizure, going into the sources of black money, and all such people will be behind bars. Do not have any doubts about it, we will do it. We will plug all the loopholes. Such a big step (demonetization) has been taken for the first time. During Morarji Desai's government, only Rs 160 crore worth notes were demonetized. This time Rs 14.75 lakh crore worth notes have been taken out of circulation, a step which no democratic country in the world, except Communist or military dictatorships, can even think of. I know there will be difficulties to the people."
Amit Shah said, the government's stress is on less cash economy, and not cashless economy. "It is not that use of cash will be abolished, this is a misconception being spread by some people. We want a less cash economy, where honest taxpayers and poor people benefit, because when people pay for goods in cash, the tax goes to somebody's pockets, and not to the government.
"In a country having one billion cellphone users, I am confident that our gradual push towards less cash economy will hardly leave any scope for tax evasion. In villages that do not have internet, the government is trying to implement the e-wallet scheme on a war footing, PoS (point of sale) machines are being installed in large numbers, connectivity facility is being expanded, 25 crore Rupay debit cards have been issued. A less cash economy will be a sure way to root out black money generation."
The BJP chief emphatically said that his party would welcome any move by the Election Commission to bring electoral funding within the purview of RTI (Right To Information). "Modi ji has already appealed to all political parties to ensure transparency in electoral funding. But to bring all activities of political parties within the purview of RTI would be wrong. One cannot seek information through RTI as to how many persons I met, or how many persons were served tea. Our is not a government department, it's a political party."
Amit Shah in Rajat Sharma's show Aap Ki Adalat will be telecast tonight on India TV at 10 pm. The repeat telecasts will take place on Sunday Dec 18 at 10 am and 10 pm.