Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday referred to chartered accountants as a “big pillar” of the Indian economy and asked them to advise people against dealing with black money. Modi was speaking at an event organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India hours after the rollout of his government’s Goods and Service Tax regime on June 30.

“If you know anyone with black money, warn them that they will not be spared,” Modi said. The prime minister said his administration had cancelled the registration of one lakh firms over irregularities and identified 37,000 shell firms. The accounts of three lakh companies are being monitored, NDTV quoted Modi as saying.

“Your signature carries immense faith, please do not break that trust that is placed on you,” the prime minister told the chartered accountants present.

Describing demonetisation as the biggest step in countering black money, Modi said, “GST has given you the right to differentiate between right and wrong, the Parliament has given that right to all of you yesterday.” The Centre the

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia were also at the event.