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NEW DELHI: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the BJP-led NDA government will celebrate ‘Anti-Black Money Day’ on November 8 this year, the first anniversary of the Centre banning high value notes in the country.
“On 8th November 2017, BJP will celebrate ‘Anti-Black Money Day’ in the nation,” Jaitley told mediapersons at a press conference.
On 8th November 2017, BJP will celebrate ‘Anti-Black Money Day’ in the nation: FM Arun Jaitley in #Delhi https://t.co/oc39RWVE6m
— ANI (@ANI)
The announcement comes in the midst of most opposition parties asserting that they’ll observe November 8 as ‘Black Day’ and hold protests across the country to highlight the “ill-effects” of demonetisation on the economy.
A coordination committee of opposition parties had met on Monday in the Parliament House, where it authorised Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad to talk to other parties and finalise the protest plan on November 8.
“This particular announcement made on November 8 is the scam of the century, which is why we are observing this as Black Day,” Azad said at a joint press conference on Tuesday.
Lashing out at the Congress for spearheading the plan to observe the anniversary of demonetisation as black day, Jaitley alleged that the party had never taken concrete measures against black money in the Indian economy.
“Congress had adequate opportunity to be in power, and I can’t recollect a single significant step that they ever took against black money,” the finance minister said.
He further claimed that Congress leaders had always been a proponent of cash-based economy as a less cash economy would have undercut their self-interests.
“They (Congress) had reconciled to India living with a shadow economy. It is understandable this would never be on political agenda of Congress leadership,” Jaitley charged.
They had reconciled to India living with a shadow economy.It is understandable this would never be on political agenda of Cong leadership:FM
— ANI (@ANI)
On November 8 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 would no longer be considered legal tender. While the government championed demonetisation as a move to weed out corruption and black money, which would usher India into a digital economy, the roll-out of the ambitious project encountered a number of snags – with banks and ATMs running out of cash, people dying in queues and a slow remonetisation process.
Political leaders cutting across party lines are on board with the plan to corner the Modi government on its implementation of demonetisation.
TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, a vociferous critic of the note ban, said her party will observe the first anniversary of demonetisation as “Kalo Dibas” or black day.
The Aam Aadmi Party had said that it will mark November 8 as the “day of betrayal” and organise agitations across the country.