Ram Madhav denied claims that notes ban was announced keeping in mind UP polls.
Demonetisation was never a political decision, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said today and insisted that the move had increased the tax payers base and black money had been disclosed.
Mr Madhav said that cracking the whip on corruption and black money was one of major promises made by the BJP during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, and the Centre has taken a series of steps in this regard like the Voluntary Disclosure Scheme. "The government undertook a series of measures (to counter the menace of black money and corruption). Demonetisation was one of the four or five steps he (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) took," Mr Madhav said.
The senior BJP leader, who is also one of the directors of India Foundation, an influential think tank known for its proximity to the Modi dispensation, was speaking at a book release event. "It was never thought of as a political decision in the first place," Mr Madhav said, dismmising claims by the opposition that the note-ban was announced keeping in mind assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and other states held early this year.
"Many thought it (the demonetisation decision) would harm us politically and (BJP) would lose all elections after demonetisation," he said.
Just after the demonetisation move, the BJP secured a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Speaking about RBI report which stated that 99 per cent of demonetised value notes are back in system, Mr Madhav said it is wrong to think that all the black money had become white now just because it had been deposited in banks. "So if anybody is thinking that we have deposited that money in banks and now (if) he is thinking that my money has become white, then he should be prepared for the consequences. It has not become white, (but) the black (money) has been disclosed," he said.
The BJP leader asserted that his reading on demonetisation and the interactions he had with the government suggest that the results of this decision are "good" for the economy.
The GDP has slumped post demonetisation and note ban is being dubbed as the main reason by the critics.
Mr Madhav said it is difficult to comprehend that India with a population 1.3 billion people has only 3.7 crore people who pay income tax. "Close to a crore people said their income is less than
2.5 lakh. Remaining said their income is between 5-10 lakh, which is just not the reality of our country," Mr Madhav added.
Citing the low tax payers base, Mr Madhav said this kind of anamolies cannot make one a strong, progressive economy. "The good thing about it (demonetisation) is the currency part of our economy is clear. It is black and white before us now. Tax base has increased," he said.
Lauding the prime minister, Mr Madhav termed him a "leader with a long term vision who has before him the objective of setting India's economic basics right".