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OROP: Pensions now for voluntarily-retired soldiers

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

After a stint of relentless struggle, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has partially given into the demands of protesting ex-soldiers. The PM said he will ensure that OROP will also be applicable to soldiers who have retired prematurely.

orop (1)Though the protesting ex-servicemen have welcomed the new development and agreed to give up their hunger strike, they will continue to protest till the government doesn’t fulfil their demands.

Modi sounded out the government’s decision after inaugurating the Delhi-Faridabad corridor. Jawans are being misled regarding the new found commission formed in order to look into OROP; this commission would essentially look into the shortcomings of the same, said Modi, as reported in the Indian Express.

“Jawans have to retire after 15-17 years of service. A few people think they will not get OROP they are misleading you by calling it VRS (voluntary retirement scheme)…If anybody gets OROP, jawans will be the first…Those injured, those who had to compulsorily leave, they will get OROP. Can a Prime Minister who loves the armed forces even think of depriving such people of OROP benefits,” he said, as quoted in the leading daily.

Further taking a dig at the Congress, Modi said the party doesn’t have the right to question his government owing to their lackadaisical administration. “Those who did nothing for 40-42 years, do they have any right to misled the country…your sin was that you did nothing for 40-42 years yet you want to hold us accountable,” he added.

It has become a fashion to lampoon the government at the centre and Congress has taken to a similar stance, he said. He further conceded that implementation of OROP wasn’t an easy task and it might have further implications.

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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)

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