Despite criticism from the Opposition for his decision to scrap high value currency notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always maintained that his demonetisation drive is aimed at flushing out black money and curbing corruption. He did the same during his address at the ‘Economic Times Asian Business Leaders Conclave 2016’ in Kuala Lumpur where he said that cleaning the system from black money and corruption is “very high” on his agenda. He also added that India is currently witnessing an economic transformation and is moving towards a digital and cashless economy.
Here are Modi’s top quotes after the announcement of demonetisation on November 8
Next Target is Benami properties: This (demonetisation) is not an end. I have more projects in mind to make India corruption-free. …. We will take action against ‘benami’ property. This is major step to eradicate corruption and black money … If any money that was looted in India and has left Indian shores, it is our duty to find out about it.
Give me 50 days: I have only asked for 50 days. Give me time till December 30. After that, if any fault is found in my intentions or my actions, I am willing to suffer any punishment given by the country. I know that I have taken up a fight with some forces… They may not spare me, they may ruin me because their loot of 70 years is in trouble. But it does not bother me.
Pain will have more gain: I have not hidden anything from the country… If I had lied, you would have the right to be angry. On the first day itself, I said there will be problems till December 30, to give me 50 days… Crores of honest people have been standing in line. Is it not the government’s duty to protect the honest? If we have to struggle for 50 days to punish the corrupt, should we not do it… There is pain due to my decision, but there is more gain… I will stand with you. On November 8, at 8 pm, you saw a step being taken to end the corruption scams you saw in 2012, 2013, 2014. There used to be news about the coal scam, 2G scam… After the November 8 announcement, you saw what happened. Those involved in corruption had to stand in line for Rs 4,000… On November 8, when the poor were sleeping peacefully, the rich were searching for sleeping pills. I pray to you that if you trust me, then give me your blessings for the auspicious work (pavitra kaam) I have set out to do. Please stand up and clap, and give me your blessings.
During Mann Ki Baat: The corrupt are incorrigible and are still looking for unfair means to stock black money. But what is saddening is that they are doing so by exploiting the poor. Even now, some people think they can bring their black money, the money earned through corruption or the one which is unaccounted for, back into the system through illegal means. Unfortunately, they are misusing the poor for this purpose by misleading, luring or tempting them by putting money into their accounts. A very stringent law to deal with ‘benami’ transactions is being implemented, that will make such things (transactions) very difficult. Government does not want the people to face such difficulties.
Attack on Mamata Banerjee: I know what sort of people are raising their voice against me? Does the country not know whose money was invested in chit fund business? Lakhs and crores of poor people invested money in chit funds. But with the blessings of politicians, crores and crores of rupees have vanished. Due to chit fund loss, hundreds of head of families were forced to commit suicide. Look at history and they are questioning me.
This queue is the last queue to end all queues: You, the people are my high command and no one else. For 70 years people queued up for essential items. This queue (outside banks) is the last queue to end all the queues. I assure you people that I won’t let your hard work, your sacrifice, your struggle go in vain.