India Against Corruption has sent a proposal to Reserve Bank of India to come up with currency notes that have images of Bhagat Singh, Shivaji, Rabindranath Tagore and Tipu Sultan.
According to a media report, IAC has proposed that Rs 100 denomination notes should have the image of Bhagat Singh, Rs 500 notes should honour Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and India’s Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore should be on Rs 1000 note. Also, a special currency note of Rs 200 denomination should have Tipu Sultan’s image.
“This is not a suggestion or representation but a formal request from IAC movement for grievance redressal to safeguard the integrity of the Indian state,” IAC national convener Sarabjit Roy told Economic Times.
If the RBI fails to take action, IAC will start a ‘No Gandhi’ movement, Roy said
As the Yes Bank fiasco hit UPI-based transactions last week, PhonePe that was solely using Yes Bank’s services worked overnight with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and ICICI bank to ensure all its services were up and running within a day.
PhonePe, with close to 20 crore users, saw an extended service outage, which started immediately after the RBI moratorium on Yes Bank on March 5, lasting for nearly 24 hours. The company worked with the NPCI and ICICI bank, its new UPI partner.
All merchant payment settlements were restored by Friday noon and all consumer wallet, credit and debit card payments were restored by 3 pm, the company said in a statement. All UPI services were restored by Friday night, with PhonePe users continuing to use their UPI @ybl handles.
“Friday was an extraordinarily difficult situation with little precedence. We are grateful to the RBI, NPCI, Yes Bank, and ICICI for working collectively to ensure that millions of our customers and merchants were not inconvenienced a minute longer than necessary,” said Sameer Nigam, Founder and CEO PhonePe.
PhonePe employees had to work for 36 hours straight to achieve this. The platform processed transactions of over Rs 4,000 crore in 24 hours and saw its largest ever volume of user traffic in a single day (with over 70 million app sessions).
Several petrol pumps rejected most of the UPI-based transactions over the weekend, including Paytm, PhonePe, and GooglePay.
Hit by regulators and political pressure, Facebook is reportedly planning to now offer digital versions of government-backed currencies, including the US dollar and the euro, apart from the cryptocurrency Libra.
According to a report in The Information on Tuesday, the social networking giant would also delay the roll out of its digital currency by several months.
According to the report, Facebook Calibra wallet, originally slated to launch this summer, is now coming out in October.
The crypto wallet will also support other major currencies apart from Libra.
Facebook, however, denied the report that earlier stated that Calibra wallet will not offer Libra.
“Reporting that Facebook does not intend to offer the Libra currency in its Calibra wallet is entirely incorrect. Facebook remains fully committed to the project,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge.
Several US senators have opposed Facebook’s digital coin, arguing that the social networking giant has been irresponsible with user data privacy. They have even called the digital cryptocurrency Libra “delusional” and “dangerous”.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the Congress last October about Libra, defending the idea, but acknowledging the struggles left to overcome.
The Libra Association last year said that that over 1,500 entities indicated interest in joining the Libra project effort since the project was announced on June 18, 2019.
Facebook and 20 partner organisations formally joined the digital currency project during a meeting in Geneva in October.
Arab media are reporting that the spread of the coronavirus in Iran has pushed that country’s currency to lows not seen in almost a year. Iranian health officials say there are more than 200 confirmed cases in the country, and at least 26 deaths.
Turkey, Armenia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have all closed land and air borders with Iran in recent days, due to the coronavirus.
As the closures stop the flow of traffic to and from Iran, fears of a deepening economic slump are hitting Iran’s national currency, the riyal.
Arab media say the riyal fell to 158,500 to the dollar on the black market Wednesday, its lowest level in over a year. The riyal’s official peg is 42,000 to the dollar.
Many economists fear that both Iran’s oil and non-oil exports will be hit by a regional trade slump due to the virus. Religious tourism to Iran’s holy sites will also be affected by border closures and quarantines around public places. Sales during the normally robust pre-Nowrouz new year’s festival are falling.
Despite the downward pressure on Iran’s economy, President Hassan Rouhani told journalists Thursday that the country, until recently, had been thriving.
He said that both industry and agriculture did very well during the past several months. He added that the economy will flourish if Iranians do not let U.S. sanctions or the coronavirus have a psychological impact on their behavior.
Despite the president’s optimism, state TV showed Iranians in the capital, Tehran, swarming a pharmacy in the pursuit of flu medication and face masks. Panic-buying was also reported at some other businesses.
Former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani Sadr told VOA that “almost everything necessary to fight the virus outbreak is missing in Iran,” and ordinary people “blame their government and U.S. sanctions for the current crisis.”
He added that the Iranian economy depends on trade with its neighbors, so one can just imagine the poverty Iranians face if trade diminishes with partners like Turkey, Iraq, Russia and elsewhere.
An Iranian member of parliament recently blamed Tehran’s eagerness to come to the rescue of its major trading partner, China, for shortages inside his own country. Iran sent thousands of face masks to China during the initial phase of the coronavirus outbreak, and now faces a severe shortage at home.
“Iranians,” laments former President Bani Sadr, “now have no confidence in the regime or its propaganda, and even less faith that the outside world will come to their rescue.” (VOA)