New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday took a swipe at those accusing the government of not being prepared for demonetisation, saying black money hoarders are pained by the fact that they did not get time to prepare.
"A lot of people are criticising demonetisation in Parliament. But most of the criticism is that the government was not prepared to implement the decision," Modi said during the Constitution Day celebration function at the Parliament House Annexe.
"But that is not the real reason behind their criticism. They are hurt because the government didn't give them enough time to prepare for it."
"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.
"The common man feels that over the last 70 years, the same Constitution and its laws and rules have been misused to drown the nation in corruption."
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."
"It is a big nation and a big decision. I expect from those who see bright future for the nation to help those facing difficulties so we come out victorious in this war against corruption," the Prime Minister added.
The Prime Minister's comments come in the backdrop of opposition attack in Parliament on demonetisation with former PM Manmohan Singh saying the step was "a case of organised loot and legalised plunder" and reflected a "monumental management failure".
Underlining that everyone has the right to make use of his/her money, PM Modi said people do not always need to carry cash for transactions and can spend through mobile technology also.
“We can do shopping as easily as we forward WhatsApp messages,” said Modi.
"We should promote use of technology in transaction to bring transparency," he said, adding 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 3,000-3,500 crore tax and after November 8 they have collected Rs 13,000 crore tax. This money will be used for development like construction of roads and electricity supply," the Prime Minister said.
Modi further invited all political parties, NGOs and the media to educate and encourage people about cashless transactions.
"Ours is a nation that has over 100 crore mobile phones. And we have technology to transact through these phones. Why not educate and encourage people to use this technology?"
The PM was speaking at book release function in Parliament House Annexe on the occasion of Constitution Day.
Modi said it is important to be connected with the "spirit of the Constitution" rather than just being aware of its various articles.
The Prime Minister also emphasised on 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.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan was also present at the function, where two books on the Constitution -- 'Updated Edition of Constitution of India' and 'Making of the Constitution' -- were released.
(With Agency inputs)