NEW DELHI: Over the next few weeks, the centre will focus on getting new currency to rural areas to support the agricultural sector during the sowing season, finance minister Arun Jaitley said today.
The minister was addressing party workers after a BJP Parliamentary party meet where a resolution was passed supporting the government’s decision to scrap high denomination notes, that is Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
“For the next few weeks we are planning to focus on the agricultural sector…the Rabi season is also coming,” FM Arun Jaitley said, adding that general commerce might still suffer “for a few days”.
The finance minister also took the opportunity to describe post-demonetization India as the “new normal”.
“By stopping the ‘normal’ of the last 70 years, PM Modi has created a new ‘normal’ ” Jaitley said.
The minister was, of course, referring to PM Modi’s stated aim to kill off black money and funding for terrorists by scrapping high denomination currency.
Referring to criticism of the move by almost all the opposition parties, Jaitley said he wanted to reiterate that the government is ready to discuss the demonetization. He didn’t elaborate on what such discussions could lead to, considering the Centre sprung demonetization on the country overnight without any discussions.
Jaitley also took a moment to obliquely ridicule accusations that more people than the Centre claims knew about the move, were aware of it.
“Some people say even the finance minister did not know of this move, and then the same people say the party knew beforehand,” the finance minister joked.
The finance minister further said demonetisation “is a historic step” which will be hailed “as a good decision”, 20 years from now.
“The notes ban was a big decision, it required immense amount of courage for government to do so… it’s a historic step, the entire country is welcoming the move,” Jaitley said.
Demonetization will benefit the digital economy as well as the rural sector which will see a rise in investments, Jaitley forecast.
Source: Times of India