Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation D.V. Sadananda Gowda has admitted that cash flow to ATMs has not become normal in some places even months after demonetisation. He defended the state of affairs by saying that it was for encouraging people to transact without cash through Paytm, BHIM and similar applications.
In an interaction with presspersons here on Monday, Mr. Gowda said cash transactions through mobile-based apps or online would help in curbing corruption. “If all cash transactions are done through bank accounts, there would not be scope for evading tax and black money hoarding can be avoided. Our government has taken strict measures to stop corruption and bring out the black money,” he said.
While defending the demonetisation move, the Minister said the government took such a tough move to curb black money. When asked how much black money had been recovered through demonetisation, he said that the statistics were submitted in Parliament only recently and he would inform the public in the coming days.
Listing out the achievements of Narendra Modi government in the past four years, he said the country has progressed in all sectors. He said the government has succeeded to providing electricity to all villages in the country and speed up roadwork. “Under UPA rule, roads were laid at a rate of 69 km a day. Now it is 134 km a day,” he said.
Reacting to a question on Mr. Modi’s assurance of depositing ₹15 lakh in the bank account of every citizen, Mr. Gowda said the statement should be construed as the amount of benefits citizens would enjoy, not as crediting everyone’s bank account with money. “We collect excise tax from the public and it is spent on various schemes benefiting the public. The PM’s assurance should be seen as the government’s commitment to spending so much money towards the welfare of the people,” he said.
On coalition govt.
To a question, Mr. Gowda said he was not sure how long the JD(S)-Congress coalition government would continue in the State. “Both parties have many differences. It may fall any time,” he said.
He added that the BJP would form government in the State if it gets an opportunity. On the JD(S)-Congress alliance in the Lok Sabha elections, he said, “Let’s see if they succeed in staying together.”