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Swarna Bharat Party says, Demonetisation has been Implemented Badly and will do Nothing to Address the Causes of Corruption and Black Money

Swarna Bharat Party says that demonetisation has been implemented badly and will do nothing to address the causes of corruption and black money

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Indian currency notes. Pixabay
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November 13, 2016: As the undying debate of whether demonetisation will at all be of any good to the country continues, Swarna Bharat Party(SBP) puts forward their point of view.

Swarna Bharat Party, which repeatedly talks about freedom and opportunity in India, despise  injustice, crime, corruption and wants to defend the liberties of the people of India says that demonetisation has been implemented badly and will do nothing to address the causes of corruption and black money.

Mr Sanjay Sonawani, President of Swarna Bharat Party, India’s only liberal party, said that demonetisation can at best play a minor supportive role in the systemic reform of the governance system to attack black money and counterfeiting. Implementing demonetisation without associated system-wide reforms is at best a band-aid, at worst a signal that the Modi government has no understanding of the causes of black money.

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So long as an incentive to trade exists, a range of mechanisms can be used to exchange value. Black money is a trade (including corruption) that is not declared to government. If cash is made harder to use, that means other means will be used. Money is fungible. This means a wide range of assets ranging from furniture, laptops, cars, scooters cars, to gold, real estate, shell companies, Bitcoin, foreign currency and assets can be used to complete an undeclared trade.

Even if the economy becomes 100 per cent cashless, there will be no major change to black money and corruption till the underlying causes are addressed. The way to extinguish black money is to extinguish the incentives for undeclared trades. That requires a deep understanding of the governance system.

Additionally, of course, a huge deadweight loss has been imposed on India by the manner in which demonetisation has been rolled out. People who wait in long lines to exchange currency are producing nothing with their time. Apart from this, the personal plans of millions of people have been disrupted, causing additional costs.

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Logistically, the design of the scheme is a nightmare. Cash has run out repeatedly in banks. Hardly 20 per cent of the ATMs are working in some cities. Many ATMs have not been reconfigured to dispense Rs. 100 notes. Many people are receiving only Rs. 2000 denominations from banks, which is useless for there is no change available.

Moreover, it is unclear to what extent some of the poor are losing a part of their lifetime savings because of lack of access to financial institutions, thereby being forced to sell their savings at a discount. The scheme seems to have been implemented without due diligence to logistics. SBP also understands that the truck industry is suffering badly, potentially creating a risk to the supply of essential commodities.

The objective of reducing counterfeit money will probably be achieved, but it is unclear whether sudden demonetisation was the most efficient way to do this. The greatest problem with this policy, Mr Sonawani said, is that the people are being made to believe that demonetisation will destroy black money and root out corruption. It will do nothing of that sort.

Black money and corruption are symptoms of our system. Unless we repair the system, nothing will change; black money will return with a vengeance. So long as our politicians are necessarily corrupt due to our electoral system, and bureaucrats are necessarily unaccountable (and often corrupt) – as detailed in SBP’s manifesto – black money cannot be rooted out.

Mr Sonawani wondered aloud whether this action is intended to divert attention from the Government’s chronic failures in number of areas, including its unfulfilled promise to bring back black money from abroad, the festering Kashmir problem, and total failure of Swachh Bharat and Nirmal Ganga Sahbhagita.

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Mr Sonawani hoped that Mr Modi will soon roll out real reforms, instead of engaging in further theatrics.

Should that happen, SBP will be the first to applaud him. The government should immediately start implementing the reforms of the electoral system and bureaucracy listed in SBP’s manifesto.

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Pichai met with senior Republicans on Friday to discuss their concerns, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?