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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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Khaleda Zia granted bail in 2008 corruption case

Khaleda is a two-time Bangladesh Prime Minister, having ruled from 1991-96 and again from 2001-06

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Khaleeda Zia granted 64 months bail. IANS

Bangladesh Nationalist Party Chairperson Khaleda Zia, convicted in a corruption case, was granted bail on Monday.

BNP leader Zia secured a four-month bail in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case in which she was handed five years of imprisonment by a Bangladesh court.

“Now, there is no legal bar to let Khaleda walk out of prison on bail,” Bangladesh Daily Star quoted BNP Advocate Sagir Hossain Leon as saying.

Earlier today, a bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim passed the bail order in response to a petition moved by Khaleda before a high court back in February.

Her bail was considered on four grounds, including her health condition.

Further, the high court directed the concerned authority to prepare the paper book of the case within the next four months for hearing the appeal she filed against her conviction in the case.

The high court sentenced Zia’s eldest son and Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s (BNP) Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman and four others for at least 10 years with a fine of 2.10 crore Bangladeshi takas (Tk).

The Anti-Corruption Commission had earlier filed a case in 2008 with Ramna Police Station, accusing six persons including Khaleda and her son Tarique.

Khaleda is a two-time Bangladesh Prime Minister, having ruled from 1991-96 and again from 2001-06.

In a political career spanning almost four decades, Khaleda went to the jail several times but was never convicted. She was detained several times during the anti-Ershad movement between the 1980s and 1990s.

In March 1983, she was made vice-chairperson of BNP after her husband and former Bangladesh President Ziaur was assassinated.

She went on to become the party’s chairperson in 1984, a position which she holds today. May 10, 1984.

Since the last three decades, Bangladeshi politics have been dominated by Zia and current Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

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