Modi: Tax of­fi­cials won’t ha­rass small traders, fac­tory own­ers

Prime Min­is­ter points to Indira’s re­fusal to de­mon­e­tise, says Cong puts party above na­tion

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

NEW DELHI: Tax of­fi­cials will not ex­am­ine “old records” of small trader­sand­fac­to­ry­own­ersshould they­godig­i­tal­with­their­busi­ness, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi saidonFri­day,seek­ing­toal­layfears of ha­rass­ment among a chunk of the BJP’s tra­di­tional vot­ers.

Modi’scom­mentscameafterthe RSS and sev­eral BJP law­mak­ers warned the party lead­er­ship this week­thatthe­cashcrunch­fol­low­ing the re­callof high-val­ue­ban­knotes could­harmthep­arty’sprospectsin next year’s assem­bly polls. RSS is the BJP’s ide­o­log­i­cal fount.

Also, an in­ter­nal sur­vey on medium and small scale in­dus­try by an RSS af­fil­i­ate showed that nearly 70% of re­spon­dents com­plained their busi­ness was hurt­ing from the scrap­ping of 500-and 1000-ru­pee notes.

“Some traders think af­ter go­ing dig­i­tal they will reg­is­ter higher turnover. And then tax peo­ple will come and say, if in De­cem­ber you have done busi­ness of Rs2 lakhs then why did you show just 20,000 turnover in July,” Modi said at the BJP’s par­lia­men­tary party meet. “I have told of­fi­cials not to do post­morte­mof ol­drecords.Other­wise, you can’t bring any­one into the main­stream.” Modi said fac­tory own­ers also pay many work­ers in cash to hide their scale of op­er­a­tions and avoid le­gal has­sles.

“I have told labour min­istry no records be­fore 8 Novem­ber will be re­opened.Thisof­fi­cer­shahi­will­not be done. We want to make peo­ple free from of­fi­cer­shahi.”

ThePMre­futedal­le­ga­tion­sthat de­mon­eti­sa­tion was done with­out home­work. “We make full plans. We­don’tact­piece­meal.Lek­in­patta dheered­heerekholte­hain,”he­said. Headdedthat­some­day­ban­kloans will be se­cured in six min­utes, just on the ba­sis of a busi­ness’s dig­i­tal records. At­tack­ing the Congress for op­pos­ing de­mon­eti­sa­tion, Modi nar­rated how in 1971 then PMIndi­raGand­hire­fused­to­scrap high-value ban­knotes for fear of los­ing elec­tions.

PTI/PIB PHOTO

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi meets a del­e­ga­tion of Congress lead­ers led by party vice-pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Fri­day.

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