Dismissing talk about corruption levels going up after demonetisation with tax officials allegedly asking for heavier bribes, Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that it is currency which is the source of black money generation.
“The flow of generation of black money begins with currency,” Goyal said at the EY Enterpreneur of the Year Award ceremony in New Delhi.
“It (black money) may go into other assets like real estate, gold, jewellery..but it begins with cash,” he said referring the the government’s recent demonetisation drive banning high value currency.
Declaring that he felt disappointed about the happenings in the chartered accountant profession that he himself was earlier part of, Goyal reminded the gathering about what Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said on the aim of demonetisation.
“We have to decide whether wish to be a part of the new normal, or go back to the past. If we can get rid of the discretionary ways of the old system, then we can get more people into the nation’s economy and become part of the new normal.
In this connection, Goyal said that in the very first auctions held to award wind power project contracts, a record low tariff of Rs 3.46 per unit had been discovered through the reverse bidding process.
“Wind power tariffs were earlier being decided by a negotiated contract to arrive at what is called a feed-in-tariff ranging between Rs 5-6 a unit,” he said, and queried “where the arbitrage was going all these years.”
The minister also pointed to the advantages of widening the tax base of the country.
“If everyone pays their taxes, income tax rates and even the GST (Goods and Services Tax) rates will come down,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the earlier suspicious mentality about entrepreneurs in India had disappeared completely.
“The mindset of this government is that entrepreneurs are the engines of the Indian economy, generate revenue and give opportunities for livelihood,” she said.