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PM Modi’s Demonetization Move: Is it Curbing Corruption or Creating Mass Chaos?

Demonetization drive is creating a more hassle prone situation rather than solving the corruption issue

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Protest in India (representational Image), VOA

Nov 19, 2016: This year, November 8, 2016 marked a turning point not only in the history of BJP but on India’s economy as well and the reason is none other than demonetization. The demonetization of India followed by the devaluation of China shows that the two most powerful developing countries are into some serious drive of setting their own examples in world politics. When 86% of currency notes in a country of 1.3 billion people are rendered illegal tender in a matter of hours, it is bound to create a short-term disruption in daily lives.

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Prime Ministers repeated speeches and thanking his people or their constant co-operation is even going in vein as the money supply is too short of demand. It is becoming an issue for the small traders, middle class and the poor at large. Moreover, the speedy transition in withdrawal and deposit are acting as an insult to injury. The information is resting on the educated mass while the poor ones are getting depressed at repeated shocks. There are certain consequences as listed below:

ATM crisis

The biggest cash crunch is experienced by the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) which are still lagging in the reconfiguration of new 500 and 2,000 notes. In order to reconfigure 220,000 cash machines in India at least a period of one month is required, according to Mr. Navroze Dastur, the managing director of India and South Asia at NCR Corporation. It supplies about two-thirds of country’s machines. Dastur said it will take as much as a month to adjust all the ATMs.

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Gold Rush

Most successful way to hide one’s black income is by purchasing gold. This will not only put a white mark on the black spot but will be a safer asset for the long run. Thus  a new gold rush also emerged soon after Modi’s announcement. “Jewellers who had shut shop for the day on Nov. 8 had to reopen their stores within a couple of hours and were selling gold up to 4 a.m,” Chirag Thakkar, a director at gold wholesaler Amrapali Group said by phone from Ahmedabad in Modi’s home state of Gujarat. “Customers were lining up with bags of cash. Some jewellers even had to call the police to organise the crowds.” Customers paid as much as 52,000 rupees per 10 grams, almost double the current prices, he said. In order to curb the situation, all the gold shops are closed as of now. Thus, bringing a halt to the gold market, which is incurring the loss for a week now.

Re-employment of the Retirees

Banks are under huge pressure of masses and their huge responsibilities. The extreme mass pressure is complimented by the lack of cash which is adding to the chaos. The State-run banks have called their retired employees to handle the pressure of exchanging money. Bank employees have been working long hours without breaks to ease the transition, and the government has told lenders to provide them with transportation and food, All India Bank Employees’ Association General Secretary C H Venkatachalam said over a call.

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Inputs of religious institution

The Government has requested the religious institution to donate their cash of lower denomination to meet up the cash crunch. Martin De Porres church in the Ernakulam district of Kerala, a south Indian state, decided to open its donation boxes after seeing the public’s suffering, Jimmy Poochakkatt, the parish priest, told India Today magazine. Shree Dharma Shastha Mahavishnu Temple in Mumbai also opened its offering box, Raghunath Raghavan, president of the temple trust said by phone.  According to Finance Ministry, for easing out the tension and bringing back the money in circulation, the money lenders are also reaching out to religious places to ask them to deposit funds given by devotees.

Defense Jets

Cash supply to the remote areas of the country are undertaken by the Defense Jets. “Depending on urgency, security and non-availability of commercial aircraft, requests for support from the Indian Air Force is within standing procedures,” a spokeswoman for Reserve Bank of India said.

Currency notes are usually transported from printing presses owned by the central bank to some 4,000 vaults around the country and then to bank branches in specially-built trucks with gunners for security. Since the crackdown, new currency bills have had to be airlifted by helicopter from Patna after reports of shortage in Bokaro and Jamshedpur, a finance ministry official said.

Trucks Abandoned

Naveen Gupta Secretary General of All India Motor Transport highlighted that nearly 9.3 million trucks were abandoned by the drivers midway after eight days of the announcement as they were in short of cash. India’s roads carry about 65 percent of the country’s freight. Drivers don’t have enough money for food, truck maintenance and to make payments at border check posts. “It will take a few more days for the situation to normalise,” Gupta said in an e-mailed statement.

Free Coffee

In Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, Starbucks Corp. has been serving free coffee to people waiting for many hours in queues in front of ATMs and banks, a spokesman for the company said.

Over demand of Rolex

Soon after PM Modi’s announcement of demonetization, there was a rush for buying costly stuff to cover up the black earnings. Demand for Rolex watch was one of them. One luxury watch outlet in north-west Mumbai saw 45 units of Rolex watches sold on a single day, according to a representative of a watchmaker, who was present when the sales took place. Demand matched what the shop would usually sell in a month and the store had to turn away customers, the person said, asking not to be identified because the person is not authorised to speak to the media.

– by Shivam Thaker of NewsGram with inputs from agencies. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker

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Prince Charles Arrives in New Delhi for two day Visit to Meet PM Narendra Modi

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, accompanied by his wife arrived New Delhi for a two-day visit to India to complete their 10-day four-nation tour

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Prince Charles visits India with his wife for two days. Wikimedia.

New Delhi, Nov 9: Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, accompanied by his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker-Bowles, arrived New Delhi on Wednesday on a two-day visit to India at the final leg of their 10-day four-nation tour that also took them to Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.

“Their Royal Highnesses Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive,” the British High Commission in India tweeted.

Prince Charles is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday evening and discuss a wide range of issues, including that of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which will take place in April 2018 in the UK.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles arrives in India with his wife. IANS.

Ahead of the royal couple’s arrival, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said climate change, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), economic cooperation, and other bilateral issues would also come up for discussion.

Bilateral trade between India and Britain stands at $12.19 billion. India is the third largest investor in Britain and the second largest international job creator in that country.

Britain is the third largest inward investor in India, with a cumulative equity investment of $24.37 billion for the period April 2000-June 2017

The Indian diaspora in UK is one of the largest ethnic minority communities in the country, with the 2011 census recording approximately 1.5 million people of Indian origin equating to almost 1.8 percent of the population and contributing 6 per cent of the country’s GDP.

This will be Prince Charles ‘s ninth visit to India. He had earlier visited India in 1975, 1980, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2013. (IANS)

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Editorial Freedom Should be used Wisely in Public Interest says PM Narendra Modi to Media

Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Monday said that editorial freedom should be used in public interest and urged the newspapers to devote space to increase awareness about climate change

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PM Narendra Modi speaks about Editorial Freedom. Wikimedia

Chennai, Nov 6: Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Monday said that editorial freedom should be used in public interest and urged the newspapers to devote space to increase awareness about climate change.

Speaking at the 75th anniversary celebrations of Tamil newspaper Daily Thanthi at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium, Modi said lot of things happen around the world and the editors decide what is important to be published in their newspapers.

He said: “Editorial freedom should be used wisely and in public interest.”

Pointing out the natural calamities occurring around the world at regular intervals, PM Modi urged newspapers to allocate space to increase awareness about climate change.

Narendra Modi said the freedom to write does not in anyway reduce the importance to be accurate and correct, adding that though media outlets may be owned by the private sector, they serve a public purpose, have much social accountability and their conduct should be above board.

editorial freedom
Media must use editorial freedom with public interest, says PM Modi. Wikimedia.

He said technological advancement enables citizens to compare, discuss and analyse the credibility of news and the media should take extra caution to maintain its credibility.

According to him, reform in media can come from within and through introspection.

Observing most of the media discourse revolves around politics, Modi said the nation is made of over a billion people and the media should focus on the people and their achievements.

Citing the spread of mobile phones, Modi said citizen reporting is important in showcasing individual achievements and also helping in the aftermath of natural disasters.

PM Narendra Modi also released a souvenir.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and his deputy O.Pannerselvam also participated in the function.

Paying encomiums to the founder of Daily Thanthi S.P. Adithanar and his son Sivanthi Adithan, Palaniswami said the daily would certainly see centenary celebrations.

Leaders of several political parties, law makers, industrialists, movie actors and diplomats attended the function.

Earlier on his arrival PM Modi was received by Purohit, Palaniswami and others at the airport.

From the airport Modi reached the INS Adyar naval base here in a helicopter.

At INS Adyar, Modi had a meeting with Palaniswami and discussed about the rain and relief situation in Chennai and neighbouring districts. (IANS)

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India will become High-Middle Income Country by 2047, says World Bank CEO

World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva on Saturday said she has no doubt that India will be a high-middle income country by 2047.

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World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva. IANS.

New Delhi, Nov 4: Lauding India’s increasing per capita income, World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva on Saturday said she has no doubt that India will be a high-middle income country by 2047 when it completes its centenary year of independence.

“In the last three decades, India’s per capita income has quadrupled. I have no doubt India when it hits its century of independence in 2047, will be a high-middle income country,” Georgieva said while addressing India’s Business Reforms conference at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra here.

Georgieva praised India for its sudden jump of 30 ranks in 2017, the biggest leap ever, in the history of the ease of doing business.

World Bank CEO
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia.

“We are here to celebrate a very impressive achievement. In 15 years of the history of the ease of doing business, such a jump of 30-ranks in one year is very rare. In cricket, I understand that hitting a century is a big milestone.”

ALSO READ: Doing business in India is easier now!

She hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “high-level ownership” efforts and “championship of reforms” that led to achieve India such a ranking in ease of doing business.

Reminding Guru Nanak Dev’s preachings, the World Bank CEO said: “Today is also the anniversary of Guru Nanak which reminds me of his words that whatever seed is sown, the plant will grow thus.” (IANS)