Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday claimed that prostitution and human trafficking had substantially reduced in the country as a result of the country’s demonetisation drive, PTI reported. The Bharatiya Janata Party decided to mark the one-year anniversary of demonetisation as “Anti-Black Money Day” on Wednesday.

“Flesh trade has nosedived in India,” the law minister told reporters. “Trafficking of women and girls has gone down considerably. A huge amount of cash used to flow to Nepal and Bangladesh...Notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 were used to make payments in the flesh trade, which has now come down.”

Incidents of stone-pelting have also come down in Jammu and Kashmir following demonetisation, Prasad claimed. “One year of demonetisation has proved that the decision was in the national interest,” The Indian Express quoted him as saying.

The Opposition will mark the anniversary as a “Black Day” in protest against the “ill-conceived and hasty decision”. “We were to celebrate honesty, but the Congress wants to observe it as black day. Why is the Congress irritated with honesty?” he added.

On Wednesday, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reiterated that demonetisation was an “organised loot and a legalised plunder”. “November 8 was a black day for our economy and, indeed, our democracy,” he said at an event in Ahmedabad. “Tomorrow, we mark one year since the disastrous policy was thrust on the people of our country.”

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defended the Centre’s demonetisation drive as a “watershed moment in the history of the Indian economy”.