No longer will the progress and prosperity of rural India be curtailed by corruption and black money.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the people of the country for being part of his “yagna (crusade) against corruption, terrorism and black money” even as he reiterated that the government’s measure will bring some hardships but result in long-term gains for the nation.
His remarks came as his biggest financial reform, the demonetisation drive, completed a month, prompting the Opposition to observe a “black day.”
“I salute the people of India for wholeheartedly participating in this ongoing yagna against corruption, terrorism and black money,” Mr Modi tweeted.
Opposition parties as well as many experts have questioned the implementation of the demonetisation scheme, but the prime minister maintained that the decision to ban Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes has resulted in several gains for farmers, traders and labourers, who are the economic backbone of India.
“I always said that the government’s measure will bring a degree of inconvenience but this short-term pain will pave way for long-term gains. No longer will the progress and prosperity of rural India be curtailed by corruption and black money. Our villages must get their due. We also have a historic opportunity to embrace increased cashless payments and integrate latest technology in economic transactions,” he said.
Exhorting people to come together to defeat black money, he said: “Together, we must ensure India defeats black money. This will empower the poor, neo-middle class, middle class and benefit future generations”.
He asked the young to be “agents of change who will make India corruption free and ensure more cashless transactions”.
Modi had made a similar appeal to the youth in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ address last month. The prime minister had banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8 as part of efforts against black or undeclared money and money laundering. He has been attacked by the Opposition for a massive cash crunch that has followed demonetisation.
Besides stalling Parliament, the Opposition has also organised street protests and marked Thursday as a black day.