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PM Narendra Modi Defends Currency Spike in an Emotional Speech, says it was done for the Benefit of People

The Prime Minister said that demonetisation decision is just a "beginning of government's crusade against black money and corruption"

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Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.(Representational image) Wikimedia

New Delhi, November 22, 2016: In an emotional speech to parliament members from his ruling BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday vehemently defended the demonetisation move, saying it was done for the benefit of the people.

Addressing the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting here, Modi urged the members to counter what he called was “misinformation” being spread by the opposition parties on the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.

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“We came to power for the poor, not for our own sake,” the Prime Minister said in his speech, according to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar.

“The poor, the lower middle class and middle class have been suffering since the last 70 years due to corruption and black money.”

“This decision is in favour of the people and against black money, corruption and counterfeit currency. Our target is fight a long battle against all these,” said Modi, according to Ananth Kumar.

According to sources, the Prime Minister said that demonetisation decision is just a “beginning of government’s crusade against black money and corruption”, and such type of actions will be continued.

Sources also said that Prime Minister asked party leaders not to use the word “surgical strike” for demonetisation.

“Don’t call it a surgical strike. Only a soldier can do that,” a source quoted Modi as saying at the meeting.

Incidentally, BJP President Amit Shah, in his first reaction after demonetisation scheme was announced, had dubbed the move as surgical strike on black money and corruption.

The BJP Parliamentary Party also passed a resolution backing the government’s decision to spike the high value currencies. The resolution was moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

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Ananth Kumar told the media: “The Parliamentary Party unanimously passed a resolution on the historical demonetisation decision of November 8.”

“The Parliamentary Party unanimously welcomes the historic announcement made by PM withdrawing the legal tender value of currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 and compliments the Prime Minister, the government and the Reserve Bank Of India,” the resolution said.

“The parliamentary party is supremely confidant that this bold initiative will achieve the intended objectives cutting off financial support to terrorists and extremists organisations, address the problem of counterfeit currency besides checkmating unaccounted money in the system and serving as a serious warning to those indulging in corruption,” it added.

It also acknowledged the initiative as a national project of cleansing the system and of great significance that will usher in behavioural and attitudinal changes encouraging honesty in personal and public life, particularly political life.

“This will benefit the poor and the common man in several ways. Over the last 70 years, common man has resigned to grudgingly accept the foul ways of these in power and close to power, to exploit the system and make ill-gotten wealth,” it said.

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The resolution condemned “malicious efforts” of some political parties which are “desperate to provoke violence and chaos” having been rattled by the widespread support of the people to the government’s initiative and bent upon disrupting the proceedings of Parliament on one pretext of the other”.

The BJP Parliamentary Party also hailed the common man for patience despite facing hardships.

“They are queuing for a better India,” the resolution said. (IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi: Government bringing Stringent Consumer Protection Law

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Prime Minister Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a speech. IANS

New Delhi, October 26: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the government was in the process of enacting stringent legislation aimed at protecting consumers along with setting up a Consumer Protection Authority (CPA).

“Consumers’ protection is this government’s priority. We are in the process to bring a new law on consumer protection keeping in mind the need of the country and business practices here,” Modi said at an International Conference on Consumer Protection for East, South and South-East Asian Countries.

“We are in the process of forming a Consumer Protection Authority, which will have executive powers, for immediate redressal.”

The rules were being streamlined to solve consumer problems in less time and at less cost, he added.

“The stress is being given on consumer empowerment. Strict provisions are being contemplated against misleading advertisements,” Modi said.

He said India was among the few countries which had enacted a law a year after the UN adopted guidelines on consumer protection in 1986.

The Prime Minister also said the prices of commodities were set to go down and consumer protection for their interest effects due to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Due to the GST, the competition among companies was going to increase. So prices will go down. It will help consumers from lower middle class and poor sections,” Modi said.

“Earlier, transportation by trucks would take five days but it has come down to just three three days now as checkposts on borders have vanished after the GST. It means transportation cost has gone down. This is going to be transferred to consumers,”

Taking a dig at those opposed to the GST, he said: “Some people may be taking advantage of the lack of awareness. However, the benefits will be transferred (to consumers) in days to come.”

Talking about the conference, Modi said: “It shows how seriously we take the needs of our citizens and how we strive hard to solve their problems”.

“It is the first conference in the region, where everyone is trying in their own ways to save the interest of consumers. However, we have to keep in mind that the world is going towards a single market,” Modi said.(IANS)

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Tillerson’s Visit to India Highlights Strong Emerging Alliance

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting at the Prime Minister's residence in New Delhi. VOA

The United States pledged its commitment to deepening strategic ties with India as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders in New Delhi during a visit that highlighted their strong emerging alliance.

Combating terrorism and expanding India’s role in helping Afghanistan’s development were key issues discussed by Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Tillerson, who arrived in the capital city after stops in Kabul and Islamabad.

At a news conference after the talks, Tillerson extended an assurance that “in the fight against terrorism, the United States will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with India. Terrorist safe havens will not be tolerated.”

The top U.S. diplomat visited the region after the Trump administration unveiled a new South Asia strategy calling on India to play a larger role in Afghanistan’s economic stabilization and on Pakistan to take more action against militant groups based in the country.

Indian foreign minister Swaraj said President Donald Trump’s new strategy for the region “can only be successful if Pakistan acts decisively against all terror groups without any discrimination.” New Delhi has long blamed Islamabad for supporting insurgent groups that carry out terror acts in India.

Tillerson, who last week said that he sees India as a key partner in the face of what he considers negative Chinese influence in Asia, reiterated that India could play a wider role in the region. Analysts say Washington’s overtures for closer ties with India are prompted by the need to counter China’s rise.

Tillerson told reporters “the United States supports India’s emergence as a leading power and will continue to contribute to Indian capabilities to provide security throughout the region.” He said Washington was willing to provide New Delhi with advanced technologies for its military modernization.

“We also look forward to further cooperation in the broader Indo Pacific region as we both promote a rules-based approach to commerce and a transparent and sustainable approach to economic development,” he said.(VOA)

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BJP to Celebrate November 8 as ‘Anti-Black Money Day’

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Anti black money day, Demontisation
Demontisation ousted one thousand rupee notes in India last november. Pixabay free

New Delhi, October 25: In a bid to counter the opposition campaign, the BJP will celebrate November 8, the day high-value currencies were demonetized last year, as “Anti-Black Money Day” across the country.

Announcing the party’s decision to counter the opposition plans for observing the day as “Black Day”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said all prominent leaders, union ministers, state ministers and office bearers will participate in programmes across the country.

On November 8, the party will organize programmes highlighting all the steps the government has taken against black money. He said since the government was formed in 2014, from day one it had taken steps against black money.

“There was a parallel black money economy in the country. When the NDA government came to power (May 2014), Prime Minister Narendra Modi took steps to minimise and end it. On November 8, the BJP will celebrate ‘Anti-Black Money Day’ and mobilize people in favor of the steps taken against black money,” Jaitley told reporters here.

The special investigation team (SIT) to go into black money, which was directed by the Supreme Court in 2011 and was not acted upon by the previous UPA government, was formed by the NDA, the Finance Minister said.

Jaitley also hit out at the Congress over its plans to observe the day because the demonetization decision was “ill-conceived”.

Apparently referring to the opposition criticism, Jaitley said it was normal for political parties which had a number of opportunities to be in power earlier not recognize that the squeeze on black money and the other steps cannot be achieved through baby steps.

The Finance Minister said the BJP would carry forward the debate by the opposition to polarize people against black money through its own campaign.(IANS)