Saturday November 23, 2019
Home India India Moves t...

India Moves to Ease Currency Shortage in Rural Areas amid PM Narendra Modi’s Demonetization Move

Cleaning up the system and getting rid of tax evasion will bring long-term benefits

0
//
FILE - A private money trader counts Indian rupee currency notes at a shop in Mumbai, India. (Representational image). VOA

As India grapples with massive cash shortages, the government has announced a series of measures to improve the supply of new currency to the vast rural areas that have been worst hit since high value currency bills were scrapped earlier this month.

Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday that the large countrywide network of post offices would be used to distribute money. “The new denomination notes… have been made available in 155,000 post offices across the country to disburse cash, specially to rural people.”

NewsGram brings to you latest new stories in India.

The government also said farm cooperatives would provide more than $3 billion in credit to farmers to buy seeds and fertilizer for the winter crop.

There has been mounting hardship in villages, where people hold virtually all their savings in cash. Worries are also growing that food production could be hurt due to delays in planting crops such as wheat.

Indian lawmakers from opposition parties hold placards in the parliament premises during a protest against the government demonetizing high-value bills in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. VOA
Indian lawmakers from opposition parties hold placards in the parliament premises during a protest against the government demonetizing high-value bills in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. VOA

Cash has been in short supply since 85 percent of the country’s currency went out of circulation in a matter of hours when high denomination bills of about $7.50 and $15 were scrapped on November 8. The move aims to bring billions of dollars of unaccounted wealth into the mainstream economy, stamping out tax evasion and curbing corruption.

The brunt of the cash crunch has been borne by rural areas, where two-thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people live, but where the network of banks is poor, making it a challenge to get new currency bills.

Go to NewsGram and check out news related to political current issues

Many villagers have been trekking long distances and waiting in serpentine lines in neighboring areas to exchange their cash for new bills, sometimes to find that new notes run out before their turn comes.

The worst affected are those at the bottom of the rural economy – daily wage workers. Demand for farm labor has fallen as the planting season slows down and even well-off farmers say they do not have enough currency to pay salaries or conduct transactions in the market.

A farmer in Haryana state’s Karnal district, Ishwar Dayal, says although he is allowed to exchange roughly $500 in a week from the bank, that amount is difficult to come by as banks run out of currency. That is hampering his operations. “Our rotation in the village depends completely on cash transactions. Whoever we have to deal with, they have no checks, no check books; they only have trust in taking or giving cash,” he said.

Look for latest news from India in NewsGram.

Facing a barrage of criticism for poor preparation and implementation of the massive task of replacing 23 billion old notes, the government has said it could not have printed new bills in advance for fear of the move becoming public.

And as the countrywide scramble for new bills continues, political opposition to the action has been mounting. On Wednesday, more than 200 opposition lawmakers protested outside parliament. A top leader of the opposition Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, criticized it as the “world’s biggest impromptu financial experiment,” saying it had caused hardship to a billion people.

The government says cleaning up the system and getting rid of tax evasion will bring long-term benefits and more revenues to spend on the welfare of poor people. (VOA)

Next Story

Income Tax Officers Announce 17-point Checklist to Track Unaccounted Cash During Demonetisation

I-T Dept issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cash

0
income tax
Examination will take place of cash deposits from period April 2015 to November 8, 2016. Pixabay

In a bid to seize illegal cash, the Income Tax Department has issued a 17-point checklist to tax commissioners across the country to track those who deposited unaccounted cash during demonetisation.

In a directive to the Principal Chief Commissioners of Income Tax and Principal Director Generals of Income Tax, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said that in continuation of the handling of cases related to demonetisation, a verification checklist of cash deposits has been prepared to assist the assessing officers so that deviant cases can be taken up for further study.

The CBDT move is aimed at spreading the department’s net wide and deep to catch those who deposited unaccounted cash during demonetisation.

In this latest directive to tax officers, a 17-point checklist has been created, which has to be updated on the department’s server for further action. All unaccounted cash deposits made between November 9, 2016, and December 31, 2016, will be examined as part of this plan.

The checklist also says that if a taxpayer disputes the amount, the correct amount has to be mentioned after checking with the bank.

The particulars in the checklist are — return filing compliance, the total income of the taxpayer in 2016-17, gross total income (including exempt income) of the taxpayer in FY 2016-17 and percentage of cash deposit to gross total income (including exempt income).

IT Officers
This move is aimed to catch those who deposited unaccounted cash during demonetisation. Pixabay

The assessing officers will have to check on the checklist with regard to the nature of deposit on assessment of the explanation provided by the taxpayer and the quantum of unaccounted deposits as determined by the assessing officers.

On the response side, they have to file if the explanation was acceptable, partially acceptable or not acceptable. The nature of the deposit option could be sale or advance for sale of land or any other capital asset, gift, repayment of loan and cash in hand.

Some other verification checkpoints are whether the quarterly VAT return is revised in the post-demonetisation period, if small part of the cash is deposited in or withdrawn from the bank despite having huge cash in hand, if there are large changes in the purchase and sales figures between the original and the revised VAT returns and if the changes are for genuine reasons.

The assessment procedures as per the checklist are — if the books of the accounts have been rejected, if additions have been made u/s 68 to 69D and if tax is calculated as per section 115BBE and if penalty u/s 271AAC has been levied.

income-tax
On November 8, 2016, the Government of India had announced demonetisation of all Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes. Pixabay

The examination of monthly cash sales and cash deposits lists the period from April 2015 to November 8, 2016.

Also Read: Gold Price May Increase to Rs 40,000 per 10 Gram by Diwali

On November 8, 2016, the Government of India had announced demonetisation of all Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes. It also announced the issuance of new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 banknotes. (IANS)