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Indian Government’s Demonetisation measures did not impede Future Black Money Flows: UN report

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FILE - A private money trader counts Indian rupee currency notes at a shop in Mumbai, India. (Representational image). VOA
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New Delhi, May 8, 2017: The Indian government’s demonetisation measures did not impede future black money flows in new denominations, a UN report said on Monday.

According to UN Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2017, complementary measures to demonetization would be required to target all forms of undeclared wealth and assets.

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“Broader structural reforms which could also contribute to enhanced transparency include: the implementation of a goods and services tax; voluntary disclosure of income scheme; and tracking of high-value transactions through taxpayer identification numbers,” it said.

“Other measures, such as reforming the real estate registration process to ensure transparency, are being discussed.”

As per the report, the disruption caused by demonetisation had “greater and longer-lasting” impacts for lower-income individuals, households and businesses that had difficulty insulating themselves against the shock.

“Rural incomes and consumption were affected due to a decline in prices for agricultural products (although again, this was not reflected in the national accounts data which measure agriculture in terms of quantity),” the report said.

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“In the medium-term, the currency initiative is expected to bring more economic activities into the formal sector and spur digitisation of financial transactions, helping to broaden the tax base and secure the fiscal space needed for public social and infrastructure expenditures.”

The report pointed out that “one-off” currency measure in effect transferred lost black money to the central government through unclaimed or unexchanged notes.

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“Preliminary estimates suggested a 97 per cent recovery of notes, which would imply a 3.16 per cent increase in fiscal revenues for the government,” the report read.

On November 8, 2016, exactly six-months ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would withdraw India’s two largest currency denominations — Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 — from circulation.

The two bank note denominations which were withdrawn represented more than 86 per cent of the cash in circulation. (IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)