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Banned notes: What FM revealed is important, what he hides is crucial

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Rs 500, Rs 1,000, old notes

New Delhi, February 3: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, during his budget speech on Wednesday, provided a glimpse into the number of demonetised notes deposited between November 8 and December 30, 2016, without giving the full picture.

Is it because the full picture is fraught with difficulties?

Jaitley said deposits of over Rs 2 lakh and up to Rs 80 lakh in banned currency notes were made in 1.09 crore accounts, at an average of Rs 5.03 lakh per account.

He further said deposits of over Rs 80 lakh were made in 1.48 lakh accounts, at an average of Rs. 3.31 crore per account.

Which means a mere 1.1 crore accounts saw deposits worth Rs 10.38 lakh crore — more than two-thirds of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore worth of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 that were declared illegal on November 8.

The number of individuals, firms and companies who would have deposited this amount would be lower, since many have multiple accounts.

Given that India has over 143.98 crore bank accounts (RBI figure for March 2015), two-thirds of the deposits were made in less than one per cent of the accounts. Further, such high-end depositors amount to only about one-fifth of the 5.1 crore income tax returns filed in 2015-16, including 3.7 crore individuals. The number of individuals who actually paid tax was 2.73 crore.

Now, if you remove the high-average deposit accounts and take out regional rural banks, which were not allowed to accept deposits in the early stages, there are still 124.7 crore accounts into which the demonetised money could be deposited.

(There were very few Jan Dhan accounts in March 2015. In any case, the Finance Ministry has announced that a net amount of Rs 23,391 crore was deposited in 26.68 crore Jan Dhan accounts between November 8 and December 30.)

So what would be the average deposit needed in the rest of the accounts to bring the amount returned to Rs 15.44 crore that was banned on November 8, 2016?

That, believe it or not, is only Rs 3,870.

Just as a reference point, in March 2015, for which the numbers are available, the average deposit in 124.7 crore accounts would amount to Rs 61,075 (excluding the Rs 10.38 lakh crore deposited in 1.1 crore accounts).

If the average deposit of banned notes was even marginally higher at Rs 4,000, it would overshoot the amount of such notes in circulation on November 8.

Would that be the reason why the Reserve Bank of India has not given any figure for the demonetised notes deposited in the banking system? Even a month-and-a-half after its last statement on December 21 about such deposits, the RBI is still struggling to announce the figures.

IANS

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BJP candidate sent to jail for assaulting youth who voted for Congress candidate

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Jail

Bhopal, Dec 18 : Sudhir Yadav,BJP candidate from Surkhi assembly constituency of Sagar district in Madhya Pradesh,was sent to jail today under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

He had allegedly abused and physically assaulted a youth who voted for Congress candidate in the state assembly elections.Yadav is the son of BJP MP from Sagar Lok Sabha seat Laxmi Narayan Yadav, was booked by the AJK police station in Sagar under Sections 294, 323, 506 and 34 of IPC, besides different sections of the SC/ST Act for allegedly abusing and assaulting 22-year-old Dalit man Deepesh Ahirwar outside the polling booth in Berkhedi Sadak area of Surkhi assembly constituency on the polling day.

In the complaint submitted to the AJK police station , Ahirwar alleged that after exercising franchise in the polls on November 28, when he came out of the polling booth, the BJP candidate Sudhir Yadav was standing outside with his  supporters.”Yadav asked me who I had voted for and I told him that I voted for the Congress candidate. Hearing it the BJP candidate got infuriated and started abusing me and my caste. Yadav also thrashed me badly for voting the Congress candidate,” Ahirwar alleged in the complaint.

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All India Kisan Sabha to hold protests for loan waiver

AIKS will also extend its support to the protest march of ex-servicemen fighting for One Rank One Pension (OROP) on January 27.

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New Delhi, Dec 18 : Buoyed by the announcement of farm loan waiver by Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh governments, Left-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on Tuesday said it will hold another round of protest in the rural parts of the country to press for a complete loan waiver across the country and guaranteed remunerative crop prices.AIKS will also extend its support to the protest march of ex-servicemen fighting for One Rank One Pension (OROP) on January 27.

AIKS General Secretary Hannan Mollah said that ‘rail roko’ and ‘rasta roko’ will be held in all villages to urge BJP-led central government to hike the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agriculture commodities as per the recommendations of Swaminathan Commission and waive loans of all farmers in the country.

“The outcome of recently-concluded elections showed that farm crisis was one of the major issues. The Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have waived farm loan because of the protests this year,” he said addressing a press conference.

“We have decided to keep momentum going till Lok Sabha elections to get our demands fulfilled. As many as 106 organisations under the banner of Bhumi Adhikar Andolan will participate in the protest,” he said.

The planned protest would be separate from the ones being held by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) which represents over 200 farm outfits and the AIKS is also a part of it, Mollah added.

AIKS President Ashok Dhawale said Congress “showed no mercy to the farmers” by offering a loan waiver but farmers protests compelled it to do so.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has announced signing off the file on crop loan waiver of up to Rs 2 lakh as on March 30 this year.

Dhawale demanded the cut-off date be extended to December so as to make farmers, who have taken loan this year, free from the cycle of debt completely.

The AIKS leaders asked Congress governments to implement the loan waiver scheme without riders.

“Loan waiver scheme with conditions was a bad experience in BJP-led Maharashtra. In another BJP-ruled state of Uttar Pradesh, farmers received cheques of Re 1. So there should not be any condition,” Dhawale said.

Newly elected MLAs from Rajasthan, Girdhari Lal Mahiya and Balwan Pooniya, who contested on Communist Party of India’s (Marxist) tickets, said they would take up the cause with the government to make farmers in the state debt-free.

Pooniya said farmers were “looted” by the Modi government under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, a crop insurance scheme, as the premium was high but compensation was low.

Expressing concerns over Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s remarks that loan waiver was not a solution, Mahiya said “It is hypocrisy. We will have to confront the government in the Assembly and on the road.”

Reacting to the NITI Ayog’s remarks that loan waiver is no answer to the debt trap, Mollah said the premier institution had become a “chamcha” (sycophant) of the BJP government.

“It is good for nothing. It agrees with whatever the government says,” he said.

On former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan remarks over the loan waiver, Mollah said “We know that it is not a solution. However, farmers are under debt because of low remuneration. They have been incurring losses for so many years. Let there be one-time loan waiver along with an announcement of the MSP fixed on Swaminathan commission’s recommendations, farmers will not need a loan waiver again.”

AIKS leader said they would meet Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh over agrarian crisis in the country.

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FIR lodged against Shia Waqf Board chief for hurting sentiments of Sunnis

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Mumbai, Dec 18 : An FIR has been registered at JJ Marg police station against Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board chief Waseem Rizvi by a Mumbai based organisation Raza Academy, for allegedly hurting religious statements of Sunni Muslims.

Earlier, the case was lodged against Rizvi on the basis of a complaint of the Sahaba Action Committee at Lucknow ‘s Chowk Police station.

In the complaint, the Sahaba Action Committee claimed that Rizvi had offended the members of Sunni sect of Islam by his remarks over their Caliphs.

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