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‘Formalizing the economy was aim’: Arun Jaitley on notes ban anniversary

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley posted a strong defence of demonetisation today as opposition parties seized the second anniversary of the move to rip into the government and even demand an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In a Facebook post, the minister described PM Modi’s overnight ban on higher currency notes on November 8, 2016, as a “key step in a chain of important decisions taken by the government to formalize the economy”. The number of income tax assessees have increased from 3.8 crore in May 2014 to 6.86 crore in four years of the BJP-led government, he said.

“By the time the first five years of this government are over, we will be close to doubling the assessee base,” the senior minister wrote. Arun Jaitley said the notes ban had helped tackle tax evasion and the extra resources from increased tax collection had been used in infrastructure, social sector and villages.

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