Washington: The United States of America on Wednesday described the Indian government's demonetisation drive as "an important and necessary step" to crack down on "corruption and tax dodging”.
According to State Department Deputy spokesperson Mark Toner, the Narendra Modi government's action was "designed to target illicit cash proceeds from corruption and tax dodging.”
Responding to a reporter`s question at the Department`s daily briefing, Toner, however, acknowledged that the discontinuation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was an “inconvenience" for Indians and Americans in India requiring "a little bit of adjustment".
However, he said the demonetisation was, "we believe, an important and necessary step to crack down on this - illegal actions or illicit actions.”
He viewed the demonetisation as part of a series of actions taken by the Modi government over the last two years to "reduce black market money".
"I think it also included a four-month amnesty for tax evaders in India, which resulted in, I think, the disclosure or declaration of billions of dollars in hidden assets," he said.
He was referring to the Modi government`s Income Declaration Scheme earlier this year. It brought out Rs 65,250 crore (or about $9.6 billion) held by 64,275 people, according to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
(With IANS inputs)