Direct tax base increased post demonetisation: Jaitley
Hours after the RBI announced the details of cash that returned to the government post the demonetisation, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that the objective of the move was to integrate the formal and informal economies in the country.
Addressing the media, Jaitley said, "Object of demonetisation was not confiscation of money...Integration of the formal and informal economies was among the principal objectives of demonetisation."
He said that after demonetisation the direct tax base expanded, adding, "The volume of cash currency has come down by 17% while the Income tax returns have increased by 25% post demonetisation."
Asserting that one of the objectives of the demonetisation was to push digitisation, the Finance Minister said that those dealing in cash were compelled to deposit in banks which would translate into the money having "an identity".
Jaitley also said the government's next step is going to be to put an end to black money used in elections.
The Reserve Bank of India earlier said that out of the 6.7 billion pieces of the Rs 1,000 notes, 89 million pieces never came back.
The data suggests at the end of March 2017, there were Rs 8,925 crore worth of Rs 1,000 notes still in 'circulation'.
According to the RBI, "notes in circulation" are all notes held outside Reserve Bank - that is by the public, banks treasuries and so on. Thus, this figure represents the total of all Rs 1,000 notes that were not deposited with the banks after note-bandi starting November 8 last year.
The RBI further said that the estimated value of Specified Bank Notes (SBNs) received as on June 30, 2017 is Rs. 15.28 trillion. The central bank said that the value of notes in circulation was down 20.2 percent YoY to Rs 13.1 lakh crore till March-end from a year ago. On the other hand, volume of notes in circulation has increased by 11.1 percent.