NEW DELHI: Hitting out at those accusing the government of not being prepared for demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said they are actually pained that they themselves did not get time to make any preparation.
Speaking at a book launch event here -- a day after the opposition launched a massive attack on the government over the issue -- Modi said there has been little criticism of the demonetisation decision.
"But still some people are criticising saying that the government did not make ample preparation. I think that is not the issue that the government did not make ample preparation. I think the pain of such people is that the government did not give a chance to make any preparation," Modi said.
"If these people had got 72 hours to make their preparation then they would have lavished praise that there is no one like Modi," he stressed.
The prime minister observed that these days the country is fighting a big battle against corruption and black money and the ordinary citizen is the "soldier" in this fight.
In the last 70 years those who have misused the laws and Constitution have mired the country in corruption, he said.
Noting that India's name features prominently in global corruption surveys, which is not something to be proud of, he said, "To hold the nation's head high some decisions have to be taken."
The prime minister's comments come in the backdrop of opposition attack in Parliament on demonetisation, with former prime minister Manmohan Singh saying the step was "a case of organised loot and legalised plunder" and reflected a "monumental management failure".
Pushing for digital transactions, Modi said, "Everyone has right to use his or her money and no one stops them. It is not necessary you should have cash as one can spend using digital technology also."
Shopping through mobile is simple just like sending a WhatsApp message, he said
"We should promote use of technology in transaction to bring transparency," he said, adding that around 500 cities can do this in a short duration.
He said the municipal corporations have collected Rs 13,000 crore tax after demonetisation.
"I got details about municipal corporations in some cities. Earlier they used to get Rs 3000-3500 crore tax and after November 8 they have collected Rs 13000 crore tax. This money will be used for development like construction of roads and electricity supply," the Prime Minister said.
Speaking at the release of two books - 'Updated Edition of Constitution of India' and 'Making of the Constitution', Modi said it is important to be connected with the "spirit of the Constitution" rather then just being aware of its various articles.
The prime minister also emphasised the importance of the younger generation having a "connect" with the Constitution and its ideals.
He said when the Constitution is read again, it is in the present context and a "progressive unfoldment" takes place.