War of words between BJP and Congress intensifies over demonetisation
“Both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the main opposition party Congress continued their war of words over demonetisation. If the latest verbal duel between Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Congress leader P. Chidambaram, a former Finance and Home minister in UPA regime, is any indication, there is likelihood that both sides will remain adamant in their approach and the last three days of Parliament’s winter session are well heading towards a total washout. Mr. Jaitley hit out at the Congress on Tuesday, alleging that the party did not take a single step against corruption or black money in its 10 years of rule at the Centre when the Congress-led UPA government was in power. Talking to media, the Finance Minister said, corruption peaked during Congress regime. He said, it is not surprising that Congress is uncomfortable with NDA campaign against black money.
The Finance Minister said the government is now rapidly completing the demonetisation scheme, and substantial amounts of new currency will be injected in next three weeks. The Minister urged the Opposition to rise above slogans and join the campaign against black money, saying government is ready to debate this issue in Parliament.He said that high denomination notes, as percentage of total currency in circulation, increased from a mere 36 per cent to over 80 per cent during UPA regime. “”There are economic costs of dealing in cash, there are social costs of dealing in cash. These are the costs which system has to bear,”” he said. Demonetisation, he said, is part of the system overhaul by the NDA government. â€œIt is our strategy that from high cash-dominated economy we should become a less cash economy where the amount of paper currency comes down,â€ he said. Cash will exist but there would be greater digital payments.
The provocation for Mr. Jaitley to respond came when earlier former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram termed the demonetisation move as the biggest scam of the year. He questioned how new notes of 2000 rupees were hoarded by several people despite cap on withdrawal.”