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Modi government failed abysmally: Sonia

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: The central government has failed abysmally to match its words with deeds and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s electoral promises were nothing more than “hawa baazi” (hot air) say Sonia Gandhi.

“The Modi government has failed abysmally to match words with deeds, match media events with actual accomplishments and match headlines with substance,” Gandhi said while addressing a Congress Working Committee meeting.

“The economy is on a downslide while prices continue to rise,” she said.
Narendra_Modi_360_Jammu_rally_PTI
Gandhi also took a dig at the government’s U-turn on the land bill. “The U-turn on the land bill is evidence that the Narendra Modi government is out of touch with the ground realities. It has become painfully clear that most of the pledges made by the prime minister during his election campaigns are nothing more than hawa baazi,” the Congress president said.

Terming the NDA government’s land bill “draconian”, Gandhi accused the central government of disregarding the will of parliament.

“The Modi government first promulgated a draconian land ordinance. For reasons best known to it, the government chose to disregard the will of parliament and displayed an inexplicable hurry to snatch land from our farmers,” she said. Gandhi also thanked party workers and farmers for putting up a strong opposition to the land bill.

“Thanks to our party’s sustained campaign, the government has been compelled to withdraw its anti-farmer amendments. The credit for this goes to every Congress worker who, under (party vice president) Rahul Gandhi’s active guidance, carried out a sustained agitation,” she said.

She said all like-minded parties and members of civil society joined hands with the Congress against the government’s land bill.

She said similar campaigns are now needed to mount against the assault on tribal welfare, on women and child welfare, on labour laws, on laws that protect the environment and forests, on RTI and on our flagship initiatives MGNREGA which are being systematically undermined.

She also accused the central government of eroding the autonomy and integrity of vital institutions.

“History is sought to be rewritten, specially with targeting of (former prime minister) Jawaharlal Nehru, the architect of modern India and builder of democratic institutions,” she said.

Gandhi also charged that the Modi government was controlled by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.She shared her concerns over ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir and the security situation in the state.

She said: “Our soldiers and civilians are being increasingly targeted. Instead of a coherent policy on Pakistan, this government can’t seem to make up its mind on what it should do.”

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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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.

 

demonetization
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.

demonetization
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)