This is a Historic step to fight black money and terrorism, says Narendra Modi

New Delhi, Nov 8 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday termed the decision to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as a “historic step” to fight corruption and black money, that would also choke funds for arms smuggling, espionage and terrorists.

In a sudden, televised address to the nation in the evening, the Prime Minister said: “India has taken a historic step to fight corruption, black money, terrorism and counterfeit currency.”

“This historic step will open up new opportunities for the poor, neo middle class, and middle class,” he said.

He said the decisions, taken after a cabinet meeting and on the recommendations of the Reserve Bank of India, will “fully protect the interests of honest and hard-working citizens of India and that the notes hoarded by anti-national and anti-social elements will become worthless pieces of paper”.

Modi also said that with this step, real estate prices, higher education and healthcare would come within the reach of the common citizens.

He said the decision would help end the circulation of large volumes of counterfeit currency.

The Prime Minister said his government is committed to ensure that the menace of black money is overcome. He said that over the past two and a half years of the NDA Government, he has walked the talk and led by example.

Modi said that the huge amount of black money in circulation increased inflation, which in turn affected the common man. He said the situation was even worse in the real estate sector.

Modi said that the very first decision of his government was the formation of a SIT on black money.

A law was passed in 2015 on disclosure of foreign bank accounts. In August 2016 strict rules were put in place to curtail benami transactions. During the same period a scheme to declare black money was introduced, he said.

The Prime Minister said that the efforts have borne fruit. Over the past two and a half years of his government, more than Rs 1.25 lakh crore of black money has been brought into the open.