Acknowledging the difficulties thrown up by the note ban decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday cautioned that the coming days may even be tougher but the situation will gradually move towards normalcy after the 50-day period.
He also slammed the Opposition for disrupting Parliament saying he has been forced to speak out in ‘jan sabha’ (among people) as he was not allowed to do so in Lok Sabha.
“I had said from day one this is not an ordinary decision. It is full of difficulties. It is a difficult decision and I had said a lot of hardships and problems will be faced.
“For 50 days this difficulty has to be there. And this difficulty will even increase, but after 50 days, I have done my calculation, the situation, in one go, will turn to gradually move towards normalcy. You will see after 50 days that situation will slowly start improving in front of your eyes,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s remarks assume significance in the context of reports of widespread difficulties being faced people in accessing their money in banks and all-round impact on the economy because of cash-crunch after the 8 November demonetisation decision.
The PM also targeted the Opposition for disrupting Parliament over demonetisation, noting that even the President was unhappy with their conduct.
“Opposition is not allowing me to speak in Lok Sabha, so, I have decided to speak in ‘jan sabha’ (people’s assembly).
“But, whenever I would get a chance, I will try to represent the voice of 125 crore people in Lok Sabha,” Modi said at a rally here, in a retort to the opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi accusing him of running away from speaking on demonetiation in Parliament.
The PM said those criticising him and highlighting people’s problems should also inform masses that they do not need to stand in queue and can use mobile banking.
“You must be aware that the Opposition is not allowing the Parliament to function. I am surprised that despite government’s assurance that the PM is ready to speak on the issue (of demonetisation), the situation has not improved.
Even the President is unhappy about it (disruptions in Parliament),” he said.
Modi also said that the government is ready for a debate on the issue if the Opposition is willing.
“Opposition is running away from a discussion because they know that their lies will be nailed. Opposition does not have the courage to demand complete roll back of note ban decision as they have realised that people are also in favour of demonetisation. All are saying that demonetisation should be implemented properly,” he said.
The PM said demonetisation will root out terrorism, corruption and fake currency.
“Demonetisation has broken the backbone of terrorism and Naxal movement. I am fighting against terrorism as fake currency is fuelling and funding their activities,” he said.
“Demonetisation is aimed at empowering downtrodden and honest people,” he said.
He was speaking after inaugurating the Rs 350-crore cheese plant in Banaskantha district.
“Criticise me, highlight people’s problems, but also inform masses that they do not need to stand in queue and can use mobile banking,” the PM told those opposing the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
Modi said small currency notes, especially the Rs 100 tender, have gained importance after the withdrawal of high value bills.
He also appealed the people to move towards cashless economy by embracing new technology and payment modes.
“Today, people are standing in queues outside the banks and ATMs for cash. If you are ready to support me for creating a cashless society, the day will not be far when banks will queue up on your mobile phones to provide facilities to you,” he said.
He also said that black-money hoarders and those breeding corruption would not be forgiven.
“Those who have laundered and hoarded money post demonetisation will not be spared,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)