PM Modi hints at more stringent steps to root out corruption, defends note ban
Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicated on Saturday that his government planned more stringent measures to root out illegal incomes and corruption, saying troubles for the dishonest would only increase in the coming days.
Speaking at a rally in Mumbai, Modi assured honest citizens would get relief after December 30, the last date to deposit scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
“Those who are dishonest, their hardships will only increase post December 30...now the real work has started after notes have come to the banks,” Modi said, hours after inaugurating work on a mid-sea memorial to 17th century Maratha king Shivaji near Mumbai.
“Keep it in mind I will not sleep after December 30,” he added, adding that black money hoarders should not judge him by what previous governments did.
Modi spent a hectic day, first inaugurating a new campus of the National Institute of Securities Markets near Mumbai, followed by the Shivaji statue ceremony and a public rally in Banda-Kurla complex, and finally an event in Pune.
The PM said his government would continue “strong and prudent” economic policies and explore new funding arrangements for infrastructure projects, including tapping bond markets. “Our markets should show they are able to successfully raise capital for projects benefiting the vast majority,” he added.
Merely depositing black money in the banks will not make it “white”, he added at the Pune event. “We will trace every single note. We may even reach your homes. Your money will not become white, but your face will turn black,” Modi warned.
“We will not take short-term decisions for political gain,” he said at the campus inauguration.
While he did not spell out the action planned ahead during his Mumbai and Pune engagements, Modi said the corrupt had time to come clean. “I invite you to sleep peacefully like those who are honest. Whatever is the share of the poor people will go to them,’’ he said.
“If you are not afraid of Modi or the government, it’s alright but be scared of the 125 crore Indians because they are no longer willing to accept corruption.’’
The PM said `this battle’ would continue until it was won and there was no way out for the corrupt.
Drawing a parallel, Modi said, “Prices of vegetables come down when supply is more. Similarly, high-value notes lost value because of inflation. Even a child was using high value note but now everybody has realised the importance of a Rs 100 note.”
Modi launched a blistering attack on the Congress, and said Parliament passed an act on properties registered in fake names in 1988 but alleged it was missing from the files.
“The government did not issue the necessary notification. It was done deliberately so that the resolution could not come into force. It was I who took that resolution from the files and issue a notification,” the PM said. He also indicated the likely direction of the budget by hinting at taxing market gains.