New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the demonetisation exercise last year was not to confiscate money but to make India economy a formal one, to expand tax base and to give a big boost to digitalisation of payments.
With the return of the money, the anonymity associated with cash has gone, he said, adding the tax department is scrutinising 18 lakh bank accounts with unusual deposits post note ban. The finance ministry said a significant portion of money deposited could possibly be representing unexplained/black money. “The objective of note ban was to bring down cash in the economy, bring digitisation, expand tax base, and fight black money,” Mr Jaitley said following the Reserve Bank of India’s annual report for 2016-17.
He said the government has taken steps to squeeze out cash from the system and his next step would be stop use of black money in elections. “People who had not taken a single step during their tenure against black money have not understood the intent behind demonetisation,” said the finance minister.
“So more tax payers, bigger tax base, both in direct and indirect tax, more digitisation, lesser cash in the system, integration of the formal with the informal economy. This was also one of the principal objects as far as note ban was concerned,” he said.