Demonetisation: Difficult decisions have to be taken for long-term interests, says Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defended the Centre's demonetisation move at FICCI’s 89th annual general meeting.

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New Delhi: Applauding the government's potential to take a bold step like demonetisation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while speaking at FICCI's 89th annual general meeting in the backdrop of the Centre's demonetisation move, said that the government is working overtime to ensure things return to normal within the 50 day deadline that the government has set.

"The government took a somewhat courageous step in the direction of the high- denomination currency ceasing to be a legally valid tender and went in for a large currency swap or exchange. Now, the fact, that India today has the capacity to take these decisions and the capacity to enforce these decisions, to experiment boldly even at the time when the world is looking more inwards, I think marks an exception as far as India is concerned," said Jaitley.

Arun Jaitley

Describing India as one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, Jaitley termed the decision to demonetise an important beginning of development. "As far as the decision with respect to currency is concerned, it marks an important beginning. This decision decides several other implications," he said. "Among the emerging economies, if you look at India, I think it's a refreshing change from what's happening in the rest of the world. Three years ago, the economy which was regarded as a part of the fragile five, today, unquestionably is regarded as one of the fastest growing major economies in the world," he added.

Jaitley also assured that the process of remonetisation would not take long.

Hinting at the government's courageous step, Jaitley said with the world economy slowing down, a country has to determine its own course. "The world economy is definitely slowing down. So, it is necessary for countries to determine their own course themselves because global trends are not particularly helpful," he said.

The finance minister also referred to United Kingdom's departure from the Eurpoean Union. "Brexit-vote surprised many. Most people thought that eventually one of the world's most mature democratic countries will not vote the way it actually did," Jaitley said.

"As far as decision with respect to currency is concerned, it marks an important beginning. This decision decides several other implications," Jaitley added. Referring to the GST bill, Jaitley stated, "Having passed the constitutional amendment, there are several decisions which the GST Council has to take. I don't see any major difficulty in those legislations being finally approved. Legislations which have to be passed by Parliament under Constitutional amendment and state legislatures are currently in process of being drafted."

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