NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today called the government’s decision to ban 500 and 1,000-rupee notes as courageous and said India now has the capacity to take and implement a decision on notes ban. “India has capacity to take decision on demonetisation, it’s no longer a fragile economy,” the Finance Minister told a gathering of industry leaders at the 89th annual general meeting of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry or FICCI in Delhi. Mr Jaitley, 63, said notes ban will have long term benefits and the whole process of re-monetisation will be done soon as the Reserve Bank of India or RBI is pushing in money. “Long term benefits of note ban will be clear even if we bear short term pain of some of this decision,” he said. Taking a dig at the previous Congress government, the Finance Minister said the decision of notes ban now marks the “new normal in India.” “Notes ban marks an important beginning, with this move besides implication, once re-monetisation is complete and makes substantial headway it will mark creation of new Indian normal because the one which was for 70 years was unacceptable.” However, the Congress hit back saying the notes ban is “a fight against the Indian economy and not black money.” “You have made the cashless rich and the cardless poor,” Congress’s Anand Sharma said. The opposition has been targeting the government over notes ban saying the move has left millions facing a severe cash crunch and scrambling to banks and ATMs. The notes that were cancelled on November 8 amounted to 86 per cent of the currency in circulation. Nearly 90 per cent of the money has been returned to banks; with days to go before the deadline of December 30 to submit old notes, experts say virtually all the money that was outlawed will be returned, wiping out the government’s claim that it would accrue about Rs. 5 lakh crore or 73.5 billion dollars of undeclared money. The Prime Minister’s reform has been widely praised for its intent, but faulted for execution, with the new currency being introduced nowhere near fast enough to ease the long lines at banks and ATMs.