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Citing India as Example, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Osman Saifullah Khan Suggests Demonetisation

Pakistan's economy has already started making a gradual shift to cash as protection against the government's taxation policies

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Islamabad, November 12, 2016: Taking a cue from demonetisation of higher currency notes in India, a Pakistani opposition party lawmaker has submitted a resolution in the Senate to withdraw 1,000 and 5,000 rupee notes from circulation in the country to tackle corruption.

The resolution submitted by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Osman Saifullah Khan comes at a time when Pakistan’s population is gradually shifting to cash economy due to the government’s ill-conceived taxation policies, said Express News.

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“The house urges the government to take steps to withdraw from circulation as legal tender the high denomination Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,000 notes so as to reduce illicit money flows, encourage the use of bank accounts and reduce the size of undocumented economy,” reads the resolution.

This is the only way that will compel people to use banking channels and launch a crackdown on black money circulating in the economy, said Khan, speaking at a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Thursday.

However, Committee Chairman Senator Saleem Mandviwalla underlined the need for taking the views of all stakeholders.

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The resolution was moved in the Senate a couple of days after Indian Prime Minister Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 bank notes, making them invalid in a major assault on black money, fake currency and corruption.

“At this point, we do not see a reason to withdraw the Rs 5,000 currency note,” Abid Qamar, spokesman for the State Bank of Pakistan, told Express News.

Pakistan’s economy has already started making a gradual shift to cash as protection against the government’s taxation policies, official statistics reveal.

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In fiscal year 2015-16, the growth in banking sector deposits was far lower than the previous year while the currency in circulation increased at a much rapid pace, revealed minutes of the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

The General Pervez Musharraf-led government had introduced the Rs 5,000 denomination notes despite resistance from the State Bank of Pakistan. The notes made it easy for the people to keep cash instead of depositing money in banks. (IANS)

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Hindus In Delhi Push For A Temple On The Ruins Of a Mosque

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

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Supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad gather during a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 9, 2018. The group gathered thousands of supporters to demand the construction of a Hindu temple on a site where a mosque was attacked, demolished in 1992. VOA

Tens of thousands of hardline Hindu protesters marched in New Delhi on Sunday, calling for a grand temple to be built on the ruins of a destroyed mosque in a flashpoint Indian city.

Trident-waving devotees clad in saffron filled a huge parade ground in the Indian capital under tight security, where speakers warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi they would not let up until the temple was sanctioned.

Some of Modi’s supporters feel the Hindu nationalist leader has not done enough to raise a shrine at a site in Ayodhya, a city believed by many to be the birthplace of the deity Ram.

The site was home to a medieval mosque for 460 years until Hindu zealots tore it down in 1992, kicking off riots across India that left thousands dead, most of them Muslims.

Its future has been tied up in courts for decades but some hardliners want Modi, who is seeking reelection in 2019, to push parliament to guarantee the temple by law.

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“The gathering here is telling you that Hindus won’t sit back until the temple is built, and our wishes are respected,” said Champat Rai, the leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) group that organized the protest.

Demonstrators chanting “Praise be to Ram” packed the Ramlila Maidan, a vast ground capable of holding more than 50,000 people, and filled the surrounding streets.

Some carried maces and tridents — weapons traditionally wielded by Hindu gods — and traveled great distances by train and bus to reach the rally.

“We have come here to protect our religion and Hindu pride. We want a temple for our Lord Ram,” Hitesh Bharadwaj, a teacher from Delhi’s satellite city Noida, told AFP.

The hardline VHP has applied pressure on Modi in recent weeks, staging a huge show of force in Ayodhya itself last month.

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A close ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the group is spearheading a push to raise the Ram temple, and is calling for more protests as the premier prepares to go to the polls by May.

The BJP was on the margins until the 1980s when its top leaders, including Modi, backed a growing movement for the construction of the Ram temple.

Its advocates want parliament to introduce a law bypassing legal hurdles blocking the temple before Modi’s term ends.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Leads To Ban On Trucks And Construction

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

“We don’t care about the courts. A grand temple will be constructed in 2019,” Sushil Chawdhary, a VHP leader, told AFP. (VOA)