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Banks Mobbed as ATMs go Cashless in Gurugram after PM Modi’s Demonetisation Move

People massed outside over 700 branches of various banks and more than 1,300 ATM booths in Gurugram

Indian Currency, Pixabay

Gurugram, November 12, 2016: Anxious crowds massed outside Gurugram banks to withdraw money or deposit or exchange their demonetised currency as over 80 per cent of the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) remained cashless here on Saturday.

People massed outside over 700 branches of various banks and more than 1,300 ATM booths for the third consecutive day to withdraw cash only to find that the ATM booths in the millennium city were out of cash.

Most of the people facing problems in getting their old currency notes exchanged said the demonetisation taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was right. Click To Tweet

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While the ATMs of Axis, ICICI, HDFC, Dhanlaxmi and a few other banks near the railway station and on railway road were not working, the government run State Bank Of India (SBI) and Punjab National Bank (PNB) in the Sadar Bazaar were dysfunctional.

Similarly, the ATMs of Central Bank Of India, ICICI, Canara and some other banks here on Gurudwara road were not functional but people said Punjab and Sindh Bank ATMs were working.

People in queues outside the ICICI bank in this area created noisy scenes as the server of the bank was reportedly working slowly.

“We are standing in queue for nearly three hours but haven’t moved even an inch,” Vikas Sharan, an executive with a private firm, told IANS.

The same was the situation at the ATM booths in upscale New Gurugram areas.

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According to a source, contractors and some factory owners have pressed their labourers into service to exchange their Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes demonetised on November 8.

Banks in Udyog Vihar, sector 33 and IMT Manesar areas which have a number of factories and companies, witnessed larger crowds.

Shops and business outlets in Gurugram were open on Saturday.

Sadar Bazaar, Bada Bazaar and other places have been witnessing low footfalls as customers and traders in old markets prefer transactions in cash and not through credit/debit cards.

Amid rumours of raids by the income tax department on Friday, a curfew-like situation prevailed in the markets in Gurugram, the tech hub and suburb of Delhi.

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Most of the people facing problems in getting their old currency notes exchanged said the demonetisation taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was right.

It will cause inconvenience to the common man for a week or two but will help the country in the long run, they said.

Haryana Police has deployed nearly 2,000 policemen for security and to keep a check on the law and order situation outside banks and ATM booths. (IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi: Government bringing Stringent Consumer Protection Law

Prime Minister Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a speech. IANS

New Delhi, October 26: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the government was in the process of enacting stringent legislation aimed at protecting consumers along with setting up a Consumer Protection Authority (CPA).

“Consumers’ protection is this government’s priority. We are in the process to bring a new law on consumer protection keeping in mind the need of the country and business practices here,” Modi said at an International Conference on Consumer Protection for East, South and South-East Asian Countries.

“We are in the process of forming a Consumer Protection Authority, which will have executive powers, for immediate redressal.”

The rules were being streamlined to solve consumer problems in less time and at less cost, he added.

“The stress is being given on consumer empowerment. Strict provisions are being contemplated against misleading advertisements,” Modi said.

He said India was among the few countries which had enacted a law a year after the UN adopted guidelines on consumer protection in 1986.

The Prime Minister also said the prices of commodities were set to go down and consumer protection for their interest effects due to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Due to the GST, the competition among companies was going to increase. So prices will go down. It will help consumers from lower middle class and poor sections,” Modi said.

“Earlier, transportation by trucks would take five days but it has come down to just three three days now as checkposts on borders have vanished after the GST. It means transportation cost has gone down. This is going to be transferred to consumers,”

Taking a dig at those opposed to the GST, he said: “Some people may be taking advantage of the lack of awareness. However, the benefits will be transferred (to consumers) in days to come.”

Talking about the conference, Modi said: “It shows how seriously we take the needs of our citizens and how we strive hard to solve their problems”.

“It is the first conference in the region, where everyone is trying in their own ways to save the interest of consumers. However, we have to keep in mind that the world is going towards a single market,” Modi said.(IANS)

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Tillerson’s Visit to India Highlights Strong Emerging Alliance

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting at the Prime Minister's residence in New Delhi. VOA

The United States pledged its commitment to deepening strategic ties with India as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders in New Delhi during a visit that highlighted their strong emerging alliance.

Combating terrorism and expanding India’s role in helping Afghanistan’s development were key issues discussed by Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Tillerson, who arrived in the capital city after stops in Kabul and Islamabad.

At a news conference after the talks, Tillerson extended an assurance that “in the fight against terrorism, the United States will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with India. Terrorist safe havens will not be tolerated.”

The top U.S. diplomat visited the region after the Trump administration unveiled a new South Asia strategy calling on India to play a larger role in Afghanistan’s economic stabilization and on Pakistan to take more action against militant groups based in the country.

Indian foreign minister Swaraj said President Donald Trump’s new strategy for the region “can only be successful if Pakistan acts decisively against all terror groups without any discrimination.” New Delhi has long blamed Islamabad for supporting insurgent groups that carry out terror acts in India.

Tillerson, who last week said that he sees India as a key partner in the face of what he considers negative Chinese influence in Asia, reiterated that India could play a wider role in the region. Analysts say Washington’s overtures for closer ties with India are prompted by the need to counter China’s rise.

Tillerson told reporters “the United States supports India’s emergence as a leading power and will continue to contribute to Indian capabilities to provide security throughout the region.” He said Washington was willing to provide New Delhi with advanced technologies for its military modernization.

“We also look forward to further cooperation in the broader Indo Pacific region as we both promote a rules-based approach to commerce and a transparent and sustainable approach to economic development,” he said.(VOA)

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BJP to Celebrate November 8 as ‘Anti-Black Money Day’

Anti black money day, Demontisation
Demontisation ousted one thousand rupee notes in India last november. Pixabay free

New Delhi, October 25: In a bid to counter the opposition campaign, the BJP will celebrate November 8, the day high-value currencies were demonetized last year, as “Anti-Black Money Day” across the country.

Announcing the party’s decision to counter the opposition plans for observing the day as “Black Day”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said all prominent leaders, union ministers, state ministers and office bearers will participate in programmes across the country.

On November 8, the party will organize programmes highlighting all the steps the government has taken against black money. He said since the government was formed in 2014, from day one it had taken steps against black money.

“There was a parallel black money economy in the country. When the NDA government came to power (May 2014), Prime Minister Narendra Modi took steps to minimise and end it. On November 8, the BJP will celebrate ‘Anti-Black Money Day’ and mobilize people in favor of the steps taken against black money,” Jaitley told reporters here.

The special investigation team (SIT) to go into black money, which was directed by the Supreme Court in 2011 and was not acted upon by the previous UPA government, was formed by the NDA, the Finance Minister said.

Jaitley also hit out at the Congress over its plans to observe the day because the demonetization decision was “ill-conceived”.

Apparently referring to the opposition criticism, Jaitley said it was normal for political parties which had a number of opportunities to be in power earlier not recognize that the squeeze on black money and the other steps cannot be achieved through baby steps.

The Finance Minister said the BJP would carry forward the debate by the opposition to polarize people against black money through its own campaign.(IANS)