Thursday October 18, 2018
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Learn from ‘intolerance’ in Pakistan: Rahul to Modi

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New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi launched a ferocious attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in Lok Sabha over the “growing intolerance” in the country.

The Gandhi scion asked the government to learn a lesson or two from Pakistan where people do not enjoy the freedom of speech, calling it their biggest flaw. He said India in the past few months has been looking like a mirror image of the Islamic Republic and that there was a need for introspection and course correction from our side.

Gandhi said that PM talked about how people who made India’s constitution inspired him as they had all the answers to the issues of India.

“But they inspired me because they allowed people to question them. They heard people’s voices,” Gandhi said.

He urged the PM to listen to people, alleging that “in today’s India, staging a protest means attracting the charge of sedition.”

Rahul also targeted BJP Minister VK Singh over his controversial ‘dog remark’. He referred to the Indian Constitution and reading the fundamental right from article 14 and 15 said that all citizens should be treated equally irrespective of their religion, caste, color or class.

Gandhi said VK Singh swore an oath as a minister, an MP and before that as a soldier, yet he allegedly compared the Dalit kids with dogs.

“How could PM Modi allow VK Singh to continue as a minister in the government despite his unfortunate remarks?” the Congress vice-president asked.

He further added that while Government talks of skill India but it does not listen to the grievances of FTII students, who are very skillful. Rahul said that he visited them and all they wanted was the government to listen to their problems, but that their movement was crushed.

The Congress VP continued his attack by saying that a Muslim man was killed in cold blood and the person who was supposed to provide him security, remained silent.

Rahul said that India’s strength was that it had embraced its people. This was the reason why India was successful.

PM Modi also gave a powerful speech in the Rajya Sabha saying that while there were many excuses for the political parties to be divided, but they should remain united for public welfare. He also said there was no need for anyone to prove their patriotism all the time.

BJP directed its lawmakers to avoid making any controversial statements and give the opposition any chance to hit the government.

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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.

Also Read: Diverse Gathering To Be Addressed This World BioFuel Day: PM Narendra Modi

“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)