The government’s demonetisation decision a year ago led to 58 per cent growth in digital transactions and an increase in the number of tax payers, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said today. The Centre’s scrapping of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8 last year hurt those who had black money, he added. “These are government figures, which show a growth of 58 per cent in digital transactions in last one year compared to the previous year. The idea is to bring down the use of cash in day-to-day life,” Gadkari said at a press conference here. “In 2016, there were 26 lakh income tax payers in the country. Post demonetisation, the number jumped by 56 lakh new tax payers. It means they were evading tax earlier,” he said. “The decision has certainly hurt some people and we know why they are hurt. They had some black money, which became useless because of the demonetisation decision,” the senior BJP leader said.
The network of siphoning off money was so powerful in the country that in the post demonetisation days, the intelligence agencies found 2,134 bank accounts linked to a single company, he said. “We also found several companies having more than 100 accounts in various banks. It is now under investigation and our fight against black money will continue,” Gadkari said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes as a measure to fight black money, corruption, fake currency and terror funding on November 8, 2016. The opposition is observing a “black day” today.