We stand by demonetisation; 'shock' was needed: Jaitley
Highlighting the issue that the government fully supported the November 8 demonetisation, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the decision was significant to "shock the shadow economy" that is running parallel to the nation's economy.
Indians, over the last seven decades, have found ways and means to avoid paying taxes, Jaitley said while responding to a lengthy debate on the General Budget 2017-18 in the Rajya Sabha.
"As one goes to buy property, he is given two quotations (one with tax and another without tax)," he said adding that such a system was required to be ruined.
Jaitley also criticised the opposition parties especially the Congress for its protests against demonetisation of old 1,000 and 500 notes and said that they 'exaggerated' issues associated with the ban on old high denomination notes.
The minister added, "Some said new currency note of Rs 2,000 will be copied and it will lead to more crime.
He mentioned that crime will prevail as long as humanity exists and asked whether cash facilitated crime.
Jaitley said that, "The informal economy is being integrated into the formal one and the size of economy is increasing". He further added that this would help government provide a support system to all the welfare and developmental schemes.
The Finance Minister also expressed his satisfaction that the taxation base is witnessing an increment as more and more people could be brought under the fold of the banking system.
He also appreciated the attempts made by the government on Goods and Services Tax and said that almost all decisions related to it vis-a-vis state governments have been taken in a "very cordial manner".