New Delhi–Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday denied that the November 8 demonetisation was announced without proper preparations which put the common man to immense difficulties.

“The government was fully prepared before announcing the decision despite the requirement of strict secrecy,” Jaitley said at an all-party meeting convened by the government on the eve of the winter session of Parliament, which begins here from Wednesday.

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

He said the decision was only part of the larger government strategy to tackle corruption and unaccounted money.

“It started with the government’s decision to set up a Special Investigation Team on unaccounted money right after assumption of office,” Jaitley said.

He said opening the bank accounts of a large number of people was the central piece of the broad strategy to checkmate the flow of unaccounted money.

“Round tripping of monies through Mauritius, Cyprus and now Singapore was effectively checked,” he said.

The minister said while currency accounts for only four per cent of gross domestic product across the world, it comes to 12 per cent in India and hence the government is working towards effective currency management.

The opposition parties, including the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party, the left parties and the Samajwadi party have accused the central government of ensuring no proper preparations ahead of demonetisation.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said demonetisation will not bring black money into the banking system but only lead to changing hands.

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee termed it a hasty decision while Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said it was a very badly executed move.