Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said the Reserve Bank of India and the Income Tax department should ascertain “at the earliest” if the money deposited after demonetisation was black, PTI reported. The results of their efforts will provide credibility to the Centre’s November 2016 initiative scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, in a bid to crack down on black money, Naidu said.

“It is now for the Reserve Bank of India and the Income Tax Department to prove whether the money that has come back to the banks is white or black,” Naidu said at the centenary celebrations of New India Assurance company in New Delhi. “That should be done at the earliest so that the credibility of these reforms is maintained.”

Naidu said there was “widespread cynicism” about demonetisation among people, who wanted to know what was gained when the entire banned currency had returned to the banks.

On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Centre’s decision to demonetise the currency notes, and issue Rs 2,000 notes and a new series of Rs 500 notes. In August 2017, the Reserve Bank of India’s annual report said nearly 99% of demonetised notes were back in the system.

Naidu said the government’s decision was highly criticised and people want to know how effective the effort was.

In February 2017, Naidu had said that the Bharatiya Janata Party failed to reach out to the masses and explain the positive side of demonetisation, reported PTI. “Our party workers’ weakness is that on note ban or demonetisation, we could not transmit it [the idea] to the required levels,” he had said.