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BJP attacks AAP over Tomar, Kejriwal asks for Sushma’s sacking

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modi_650_051715075845New Delhi: The first day of the Delhi assembly budget session witnessed several disruptions by the BJP MLAs over former Minister Jitender Singh Tomar’s alleged fake degree even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for alleged impropriety.

BJP legislator O.P. Sharma leapt towards Kejriwal’s bench and turned his mike, triggering panic among AAP lawmakers in the house.

Kejriwal remained unruffled, while the BJP legislator was forced out of the house by marshals. Sharma returned to the house later.

Meanwhile, the AAP tabled three bills in the house which had to be adjourned over the fake degree row in the beginning for 15 minutes.

Speaking on the arrest of former Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar, Kejriwal told the Delhi assembly that Modi too must act against his ministers the way he did vis-a-vis Tomar.

“We removed Tomar from the cabinet when he was arrested,” he said, after one of the only three BJP legislators, Sharma created a din over the arrest and jailing of Tomar.

Kejriwal compared the Tomar development with the demands now being raised for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s resignation.

Modi, Kejriwal said, should take a cue from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Saying that Tomar had misled him over the genuineness of his allegedly fake law degree, Kejriwal said Modi too had been misled by his cabinet colleagues, and mentioned Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje by name.

“His cabinet ministers have also misled him. He should remove Sushma Swaraj from the cabinet,” the Chief Minister said.

He also demanded an independent investigation into charges that both the Rajasthan Chief Minister and the External Affairs Minister helped former IPL chief Lalit Modi who fled India.

On Tomar, Kejriwal said that when it began to be alleged that the AAP minister held a fake law degree, he felt the then Law Minister had done no wrong.

“But after he (Tomar) was arrested and sent to police custody, it seemed to me that I was kept in the dark (by him).”

Kejriwal insisted that AAP stood for “an honest system” and “honest politics”. “We will not tolerate any wrongdoing.”

The three bills moved by AAP were Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (Amendment) Act, 2015; Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification Amendment) Bill, 20115; and The Delhi Netaji Subhas University of Technology Bill, 2015.

(IANS)

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The Answer to The Impending Questions On Demonetization Are Here

While it did broaden the country’s tax base, it was a nightmare for the immense, cash-dependent informal economy.

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Indian Currency. Pixabay

Nearly all of the currency removed from circulation in a surprise 2016 attempt to root out illegal hoards of cash came back into the financial system, Resever Bank of India  has announced, indicating the move did little to slow the underground economy.

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi’s currency decree, which was designed to destroy the value of billions of dollars in untaxed cash stockpiles, caused an economic slowdown and months of financial chaos for tens of millions of people or demonetization.

Modi announced in a November 2016 TV address that all 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee notes, then worth about $7.50 and $15, would be withdrawn immediately from circulation. The banned notes could be deposited into bank accounts but the government also said it would investigate deposits over 250,000 rupees, or about $3,700. The government eventually released new currency notes worth 500 and 2,000 rupees.

 

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An activist of Congress party hold the banned 500 and 1000 rupee notes.

 

In theory, the decree meant corrupt politicians and businesspeople would suddenly find themselves sitting on billions of dollars in worthless currency, known here as “black money.”

“A few people are spreading corruption for their own benefit,” Modi said in the surprise nighttime speech announcement of the order. “There is a time when you realize that you have to bring some change in society, and this is our time.”

But even as the decree caused turmoil for those in India who have always depended on cash — the poor and middle class, and millions of small traders — the rich found ways around the currency switch. In the months after the decree, businesspeople said that even large amounts of banned currency notes could be traded on the black market, though middlemen charged heavy fees.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with mayor, flickr

The reserve bank of India report said in its Wednesday report that 99.3 percent of the $217 billion in notes withdrawn from circulation had come back into the economy. Some officials had originally predicted that number could be as low as 60 percent.

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“Frankly, I think demonetization was a mistake,” said Gurcharan Das, a writer and the former head of Proctor & Gamble in India. He said that while it did broaden the country’s tax base, it was a nightmare for the immense, cash-dependent informal economy.

“You can’t overnight change that in a country which is poor and illiterate. Therefore, for me it’s not only an economic failure but a moral failure as well,” Das said. (VOA)