Jaitley U-turn..Note ban was to catch tax chors,not black money

New Delhi:  Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has come out in defence of PM Narendra Modi's note ban decision to unearth black money. Facing strong criticism after RBI data on Wednesday showed that note ban almost failed to dig out black money, Jaitley hit back at Congress saying that the demonetisation exercise last year was not an exercise to confiscate money.

“The objective of note ban was to bring down cash in the economy, bring digitization, expand tax base, and fight black money,” the finance minister said at a press conference following the Reserve Bank of India’s annual report for 2016-17.

“People with inadequate understanding of how to tackle black money linked note ban with money returned to system,” said Jaitley, adding “deposits in banks don’t legitimise” black money. “Money has now been identified with its owner.”

The finance minister, however, said the post-demonetisation cash squeeze in Chhattisgarh and Jammu and Kashmir is evident in dip in terrorist and separatist activities in the states.

Tackling terror funding was spelt out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as one of the objectives of demonetisation when he announced the move on 8 November.

“The note ban was not an exercise to confiscate money, the next step will be to cleanse political funding,” the finance minister added