Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the purpose of demonetisation is served as it had led to “larger and cleaner GDP”.
“Demonetisation was a bold and decisive strike in a series of measures to arrive at a bigger, cleaner and real GDP,” Jaitley told PTI at Karnali village, around 72 km from here. The finance minister has adopted Karnali and Chandod villages in Vadodara district. “Demonetisation has positive impact and India is moving to less cash economy,” he said, adding the country is moving towards “digitalisation”.
“There is greater integration of informal economy taking place with formal economy that leads to larger and cleaner GDP, that was our objective behind the decision on demonetisation,” said the Finance Minister. On November 8 last year, the Narendra Modi government announced the demonetisation of higher value currency notes.
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On the Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme, mooted in government’s economic survey this year, Jaitley said “UBI is an idea worth considering and should be discussed by all the political parties”.
“The combined effect of the Goods and Services Tax and demonetisation would take India to a new path of reforms, enabling large part of informal economy into the formal economy,” he added. According to Jaitley, the integration of the informal economy into a formal one would lead to higher tax revenue and thereby lower tax rates.
On rate cut, he said, “It is prerogative of the RBI to take decision on it. The banks have already reduced interest rates in recent past. Due to demonetisation, the banks are flooded with fix deposits as it has registered significant growth in the fixed deposits”.
Rural development given priority in Union Budget: Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said rural development holds the key for the growth of Indian economy and stressed that he has laid emphasis on the development of villages in the Budget so as to put the country among developed nations. Addressing a gathering at Karnali village which he has adopted under the ‘Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna’ as an MP from Gujarat in Rajya Sabha, Jaitley asserted that Indian economy is the fastest growing in the world. “To put India in the category of developed nations, it is necessary to develop our villages. That is why I have laid emphasis on agriculture and rural development in the Budget. Our priority is to set up infrastructure needed for the overall development of the rural areas,” the Union minister said.
He said the Centre has made adequate financial allocation in the recent Budget for rural development such as power,
irrigation, roads, drinking water, housing, and MGNREGA. Jaitley had adopted four villages of Karnali group panchayat and nearby Chandod village, situated on the banks of Narmada in Dabhoi taluka of the district. Due to their proximity, both the villages are generally referred to as Karnali-Chandod. During his visit, Jaitley naugurated and laid foundation stones for various projected worth Rs 68.50 crore at these pilgrimage places. “Rs 68.50 crore will be spent on various developmental works, which includes water supply schemes, construction of roads, construction of a bridge between Chandod and Karnali” said Jaitley after performing ‘puja’ at the famous Kuber Bhandari temple in Karnali.
The minister travelled in a boat from Karnali to Chandod and paid his respects to river Narmada from Malhar Rao ghat. In Chandod, he performed ground breaking for the upcoming road which will connect Chandod to Mandva. He also supervised the ongoing work of a bridge connecting Chandod with Karnali over Orsang river. Jaitley told reporters that the ‘Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna’, a brain child of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has transformed thousands of villages. He also exuded confidence that Karnali-Chandod will emerge as the best village in the country.