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