Tuesday, 24 May, 2022
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In Piyush Goyal’s budget, demonetisation is back to being all about black money

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Finance minister says demonetisation led to one crore people filing I-T returns and helped agencies detect and de-register over 3 lakh shell companies.

New Delhi: Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, presenting his first budget, Friday reiterated his government’s commitment towards weeding out black money, while listing what he said were the immense benefits of demonetisation.

Goyal said that one crore people filed income tax returns for the first time after the note ban, adding that over three lakh shell companies were detected and de-registered.

Goyal’s assertions came a day after the government suffered embarrassment as a leaked National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report showed that India’s unemployment rate touched a 45-year high during 2017-18, primarily due to demonetisation.

His emphasis on the benefits of demonetisation, however, mirrored what Union Minister Arun Jaitley had said about the exercise last year. Presenting the budget in 2017-18, Jaitley had said that the demonetisation of high-value currency had reduced the quantum of cash currency and circulation in India. “It has increased the taxation base and spurred greater digitisation of the economy,” Jaitley had said.

Also read: Unemployment touches 45-year high after Modi’s demonetisation: Report

Sops for unorganised sector

The sudden announcement of the demonetisation exercise in 2016 had led to acute cash shortage for the cash-dependent retail and the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector. The sector — the worst impacted — is yet to come out of the woods.

Goyal in his budget, announced major sops to boost the unorganised sector. The Modi government has also announced a 12-point ‘Support and Outreach Initiative’ for MSMEs. Its outreach initiative will help MSMEs get loans of up to Rs 1 crore in 59 minutes.

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