Union Law and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday dubbed the government's demonetisation a “transformative game changer exercise” and said it would bear fruits in the future.
Prasad was speaking at the valedictory ceremony of the 22nd annual conference of CBI-State Anti-Corruption and Vigilance Bureaux here.
“The present decision of our government to put 500- and 1,000-rupee notes out of legal tender is being debated… this is a natural corollary of the initiatives taken by the Narendra Modi government,” Prasad said.
Giving example of the Modi government's first initiative, the minister said it was the constitution of a Special Investigation Team on black money.
Explaining why Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes are no more legal tender, Prasad said: “Fifteen per cent of India's GDP (Gross Domestic Product)is cash, which is very high, unlike other countries (where it is) two per cent, three per cent and four per cent.”
“… and out of that 15 per cent, 85 to 86 per cent is tender of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. Such a huge tender of these high-value notes impact the probity, propriety and transparency of economy and therefore the decision has been taken.”
“Obviously, there will be some inconvenience. But it is really a transformative game changer exercise and it will be fruitful in future,” the minister said.
He said the exercise has been taken to discourage law offenders and encourage honest citizens.
Prasad also praised the CBI and said: “The biggest legacy of the CBI is trust and confidence it invokes in the people. In spite of a general mood of dismay and disbelieve, he CBI is an important tool.”
He also conferred best branch, best investigating officer and best law officer awards on select CBI officers on the occasion.