President says demonetisation will improve the transparency of the economy
President Pranab Mukherjee said on Wednesday that the government's decision of going for demonetisation, while immobilising black money and fighting corruption, may have led to temporary slowdown of economic activity but it will improve the transparency of the economy. As more and more transactions become cashless, the decision of demonetisation will improve transparency, he said. Addressing the nation on the eve of 68th Republic Day, the President said that Indian economy has been performing well despite the challenging global economic conditions.Mr Mukherjee said, the country is on the path of fiscal consolidation and the inflation level is within comfort zone. He said despite a population of 1.3 billion, the per capita income has shown a ten-fold increase and poverty ratio has declined by two- thirds. The President highlighted that, India is the fastest growing amongst the major economies of the world.Mr Mukherjee said, many flagship initiatives of the government have been designed to promote the well- being of the society. Stressing on the government's Swachh Bharat Mission which aims at a Clean India by October 2, 2019 to coincide with the 150th Birth anniversary of Gandhiji, the President said increased spending on programmes like MGNREGA is enhancing employment generation to rejuvenate the rural economy.Pointing out that initiatives like Start up India and Atal Innovation Mission are fostering innovation and new age entrepreneurship, he highlighted that National Skill Development Mission is working on skilling 300 million youth by 2022. Mr Mukherjee said the time is ripe for a constructive debate on electoral reforms and a return to the practice of the early decades after independence of holding Lok Sabha and state assemblies simultaneously. He said it is for the Election Commission to take this exercise forward in consultation with political parties.Mr Mukherjee said, it is his firm conviction that India's pluralism and her social, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity are the greatest strength of the country. He said, India's tradition has always celebrated the argumentative Indian and not the intolerant. He said that a healthy democracy calls for conformity to the values of tolerance, patience and respect for others.The President urged the people to work harder to provide food security to people and make the agriculture sector resilient to the vagaries of nature.Mr Mukherjee said, there is a need to work harder to keep at bay the dark forces of terrorism. He said, these forces have to be dealt with firmly and decisively. The President said economy is yet to grow at over 10 per cent for an extended period of time to make a significant dent on poverty.He also stressed on working hard to provide safety and security of women and children and ensuring the well- being of soldiers and security personnel."