Business Bureau

Amit Shah, national president of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has defended demonetization of high-value currency by the Modi government and said the step was in the larger interest of economic growth and welfare of the people.

Addressing a meeting organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in New Delhi on September 8 Shah, rejected all criticism and said demonetization was the perfect example of government seeking to delink development from the pressures of vote bank politics.

Demonetization has helped in expanding the size of the formal economy and exposed black money generators while increasing the tax base from 3.7 crore taxpayers during the last 65 years to 6.3 crores in the last three years alone.

The BJP president central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has demonstrated that it is not shy of taking hard decisions that may be irksome in the short term but helpful to the country in the long term.

Creating Brand India

“The BJP Government that took office three years ago has completely transformed the thought processes of the people and has been successful in creating ‘Brand India’. It is now for the Indian industry to cash in on the high pedestal that the economy has been placed,” Shah added.

Shah claimed that the mood of the nation today stands transformed. “After the formation of the government we started taking long term decisions and we seek to provide a stable policy regime for the next 30 years”, he said, adding “we have changed the very definition of infrastructure development to touch the lives of all through financial and social inclusion.”

Amit Shah said the BJP government’s vision and mission are to push the reforms to its logical conclusion so that transformative changes happening in the economy and better the lives of the people.

Modi Changed Mood Of Nation

The BJP boss said that before the Narendra Modi Government assumed office, there was all round despondency, especially on the economic front evidenced by the GDP numbers, fiscal deficit, current account deficit and inflation.

Corruption and scams were the order of the day and the government of the day suffered a loss of credibility and the investment climate was under a cloud.

“The governance was dubbed as policy paralysis as all the ministers in the UPA Government acted as if they were the Prime Minister and no one recognized the Prime Minister as the Prime Minister”, Shah noted.

He said that the BJP government has upheld the federal structure of governance. The best example was the ‘Pragati Programme’ wherein the Prime Minister regularly interacts with the Chief Secretaries of states to remove the roadblocks on stalled projects.

The results, he said, were not far to seek. While the speed of road building and railway projects has doubled during the last three years, the timeline for environment and forest clearances for projects has been reduced from 600 to 180 days.

GST Aiding Regional Development

The roll out of GST was the most notable reform for which a consensual agreement was arrived at by taking all state government and political parties into confidence.

Shah said the ‘One-Tax, One-Nation’ reform will plug the problem of imbalances in regional development. The BJP Chief is hopeful that within 15 years there would be the all-round development of the country.

Amit Shah said the fruits of the Modi government’s labor can be seen in the strides made in road building, especially rural roads, railway projects, village electrification, regional air connectivity, laying of the optical fiber network, and the drive to provide housing for all by 2022.

The success achieved in raising GDP growth is no mean achievement, Shah said. The GDP, which zoomed to 8 percent during the Prime Ministership of Atal Behari Vajpayee, slipped to 4.7 percent in 2013-14. But Modi government has been able to steer the economy to a high growth 7.1 percent, he claimed.

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