The minister also said some disruption is bound to occur owing to the currency switchover but the long-term advantages are enormous.

India has largely welcomed demonetisation Arun JaitleyPTI/file photo
news Demonetisation Friday, December 02, 2016 - 18:34

Indians have accepted the decision to demonetise higher value currency and are cooperating in transforming the country's economy and society, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.

"People have been cooperating immensely with the demonetisation exercise and the country by-and-large has welcomed the decision," he said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi.

"I don't find any social unrest... The queues are by-and-large disciplined," he said, referring to the lines outside banks and ATMs after the November 8 announcement.

"If you ask the person standing in queue about demonetisation, he or she is likely to say -- I'm troubled, but am happy this decision has been taken," Jaitley said.

He said that this patience being shown was guided by the long term benefits that would come from the decision.

Jaitley also called the demonetisation "the new normal" confronting black money which was the norm in India for seven decades.

"Black money has been a norm in India for seven decades, we want to confront it and create a new normal," he said. 

He said the demonetisation move would ensure that political funding too becomes "transparent".

"We are at the cusp of change and the battle between the taxman and the people who try to beat the system will continue."

The minister also said some disruption is bound to occur owing to the currency switchover but the long-term advantages are enormous. 

"When we are covering such a large population, there will be queues," he said. 

A year from now, India will be a larger economy with a higher and "cleaner" GDP, while interest rates would come down, he added. 

"One of the advantages of this exercise will be that there won't be the same level of paper currency as there was on November 8.

"The volume of formal trade, volume of business will grow but paper currency will shrink," the Finance Minister said. 

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