New Delhi: Demonetisation wasn't a 'jhatka' (shock), and the government had warned people a year in advance about it, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an interview with news agency, ANI.

"This (demonetisation) wasn't a Jhatka. We had warned people a year in advance that we have a scheme wherein if you have such wealth (black money), you can deposit it, pay the penalties and you will be helped out. However, they thought that Modi too would behave like other governments so very few people came forward voluntarily," PM Modi said.

He said that the step was necessary for the economic health of the country. 

"There used to be regular reports about black money. There is no disputing the fact that a parallel economy was running. Notes were found under beds, sacks full of cash were found. This parallel economy had made the country hollow. Demonetisation has done a big job and in the coming days will set the country on the solid economic path. Those sacks full of cash have now entered the banking structure," he said.

The Prime Minister said that an atmosphere of honesty and an ideology has been created for the country to head towards. 

He said that the tax net has increased since earlier. The currency circulation in comparison to GDP has reduced. He also pointed out that the nation's growth rate has stabilised as well.


When ANI asked the Prime Minister about Congress chief Rahul Gandhi calling the GST Gabbar Singh Taxand  Grand Stupid Thought, he said, "Jiski jaisi soch, waise uske shabd (The way someone thinks is the way someone talks)".

When asked if he thinks that there were problems in tax implementation, that's why it needed to be rolled back in some way - the PM said, "Have GST processes not been done taking a consensus with all political parties in the country? Since Pranab Mukherjee was Finance Minister, the GST process has been going on. In Parliament, unanimously it was passed. Before GST, what was tax rate in the country? 30-40 % tax. And hidden tax. Repeated tax. GST has simplified all this".

He said that over 500 items which once incurred high taxes, now have zero tax. 

PM Modi acknowledged that GST has caused inconvenience for small traders, but said that it is the government's responsibility to be sensitive to their concerns. 

"Just creating a political hue and cry is not good. GST is a new system... such a big transformation, technology driven. Some small traders have faced inconvenience, we acknowledge this. But the government's responsibility is to be sensitive to their concerns. So, whatever comes to our notice, are referred to the GST Council. We decided collectively how to simplify," he said.

PM Modi said that continuously, the government has been trying to make GST easy and secure the benefits of consumers. "In such a short time, in such a big nation, whatever achievement is not small. Despite such diversities in such a big country, there is scope for improvement," he added.