Despite massive criticism from several quarters Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 29 December hailed the demonetisation move and said it has clamped down black money menace to large extent while neutralising criminal activities including terrorism and human trafficking.

The Prime Minister had appealed to the people across the nation to bear the pain caused due to demonetisation for 50 days urging them to “punish” him if he fails to bring change.

Here are the top highlights of the Prime Minister’s interview with India Today:

– When asked about the outcome of the demonetisation, Prime Minister said:

“Black money has been forced out in the open, whomsoever it may belong to, whether it is corrupt politicians or bureaucrats, businessman or professionals. Cash held by terrorists, maoists and other extremists have been neutralised. There has been a huge impact on dangerous and highly damaging illegal acts including human trafficking and narcotics trade.”

-Speaking about the repeated fluctuation in guideline and uncertainties while implementation Modi said:

“Regarding the frequent modifications, one must be able to distinguish between niti (policy) and ran-niti (strategy) and not put them in the same basket. We must stay 2 steps ahead of the enemy. When problems are identified, we respond promptly and take necessary steps.”

-Lashing out at the opposition leader criticising the demonetisation move the Prime Minister said:

“I pity a few of out opposition leaders, especially the Congress leader for the desperation they have been showing. Congress leader are entirely preoccupied with only one thing elections. There is nothing political in the demonetisation decision. It was a tough decision to clean up the economy and not guided by shot-term electoral politics.”

-He asserted that even though there will be pain caused to the public due to the demonetisation but affirmed that it will be for a short term period.

-Adding that the move was not taken for a short term period, the Prime Minister said the objective was to clean up the economy and society asserting that the revenue collected will be used for the poor and needful.

-Taking a jibe at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Modi said:

“It is interesting he spoke about monumental mismanagement. The loot that he was talking about was probably in reference to  the in numerous scams his government was linked to including the 2G, Coalgate and CWG”.

-The Income Tax department earlier shot in the dark. But today, people have voluntarily come out to deposit their money and it was a massive achievement for the government.

-Speaking about tracing the black money holders, PM said that the government now knows who has black money and where and the government and the mechanism will identify the culprits and stop corruption.

– About how he intended to clamp down corruption:

“We are also making use of modern techniques such as data mining and data analysis after which the scrutiny for selection of cases will be based on objective evidence instead of what the Income Tax officers desire.”

-Lastly, the Prime Minister assured that the honest will not be harrassed and only the corrupt will be chased and forced to come out in the open adding that the hoaders only had a few days to hide.