Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to demonetize high-value bank notes needs to be followed up with sops such as lowering taxes or loan waivers for some sectors, several BJP MPs have conveyed to the party brass.
Apprehensive that unless the government makes a move to lower the tax burden or interest rate on loans, the MPs fear a reversal in the party’s fortunes in the next general election.
BJP MPs were in their constituencies over the weekend on the Prime Minister’s instruction to create awareness about the demonetisation drive.
“There is a groundswell of support for the Prime Minister’s strike against black money. A lot of cash has already landed in the banking system, if the government does not utilize this to help lower loan interests or announce subsidies for farmers, the support might fizzle out,” a senior BJP MP told HT.
Several BJP MPs who spoke to HT on condition of anonymity said the party is not keen on waving off loans, even to the farming sector, but could consider a reduction on interest rates.
“There are many ways of helping farmers, lowering interest, subsidized seed and fertilizers, assistance with farming techniques; loan waiver is not the only way,” another MP said.
Following feedback from their constituencies, where questions are now being raised on the efficacy of the demonetisation to curb back money, some MPs have also suggested underlining the other major benefit of the move--striking against ‘dirty money’.
Several MPs said they have begun to create awareness about how in one swift stroke, the government has dealt a blow to the counterfeit currency industry that was feeding terror and drug outfits.
“That is the biggest accomplishment of this move and I did stress on this fact during my interaction with people,” said an MP who was in his constituency over the weekend to bust myths about demonetisation.
The demonetization decision has paralysed the winter session of parliament after protests by the opposition. On Monday, opposition parties upped the ante as they sought a date for meeting the President over the demonetization move.
The opposition had already announced that it will protest on Wednesday outside the Parliament in front of the Gandhi statue.