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Demonetisation to curb Black Money turned black days for many…

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By Armaan Amrohi

An article in short about the overall insight of markets in Delhi post demonetisation.

My next door neighbour had been to Dubai to visit their son on a visa of three months on 21 October. Being an elderly couple all in the society have been in close contact with them. I was surprised to see them on 17th November back home. When enquired as to what happened, they came so early; they said, “After the announcement of Modi regarding demonetisation, we were forced to come back…!” I felt sorry for them as this time both uncle and aunti were much excited to visit their son in Dubai as there had been a new member in the family.

It is not only them who had to curtail their trip, there are many who have been in deep trouble after Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes had been announced to be discontinued as legal tenders from 9 November 2016. Daily news papers since 9/11 are regularly updating us regarding the deaths of people in queues of ATMs. The situation is pathetic and troublesome for the people, with no choice!

All this made me to personally visit few places in Delhi to understand the reality at the ground level. I started my research from the Malls which are mostly crowd bulging. It was really surprising that the crowd was thin. Anyway I went to my choice restaurant where the owner is known to me due to regular visit. He did welcome me but the regular smile was missing. When I enquired for the dull welcome he suddenly busted out, “Saheb, there is a down graph in business, I am not able to fetch the rent of this place in this month”. I really felt sorry for him; still thinking that the eatery business in most promising and profitable, but has really the footfall has fallen so drastically that business has fallen to 85%. This made me to be more inquisitive regarding effects of demonetisation. I walked around the mall talking to many shop keepers in this regard. Not even a single person around the mall had been happy regarding demonetisation, all advocated that there is fall in business. No matter that they have been digitally advanced for sometime now, but low footfall has affected them at large.

CNG Station

This feedback was shocking for me as I had never thought of negative effect of demonetisation. My next destination was Azadpur Mandi–Asia’s biggest vegetable and fruit market–where loaders and porters are normally to be seen busy earning daily bread. This time I saw many sitting ideally. I asked one of them as to what is the effect of demonetisation. It was like I had ignited a bomb, many flocked around me thinking that I am a journalist, in chorus, “Saheb, do joon ke rooti bhi kamana mushkil hai!” (Mister, not able to earn two meals a day also). The rate of unloading a sack of onion was Rs.20 before but in the present times the rate has gone down to Rs. 13 per sack. Avnish a loader, “I used to earn around Rs. 200 per day, but now I am not able to earn even Rs. 100”. When I asked where is the crowd, he said, “Most of the loader have gone back home because of no work, the people are not coming to market”. Rajender Sharma, president of the Federation of Fruit and Vegetable Traders’ Associations, said, “Not just have costs of vegetables fallen, deals have fallen by 20-30 per cent, most clients are purchasing over credit which is a system of this market. Around 80 per cent of my business a month ago has been on credit, but payments have to be made to supplier who is not accepting old currency and the new is nowhere to be seen in bulk to make payments.” Other shopkeepers admitted that because business was down, ancillary work has been affected.

It’s not just wholesale and flea markets like Chandni Chowk, Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat Nagar, however demonetisation has soberingly affected Delhi’s world class markets as well. The reasons, be that as it may, are distinctive. The upscale Khan Market–which was recently positioned as the 28th costliest retail market in the world by Cushman and Wakefield–has lost around 50 per cent business since November 9.

Connaught Place in Lutyens‘ Delhi has lost 30-40 per cent deals in one month since Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the declaration. What’s more, South-Ex Market, which has a few extravagance brands, has lost around 20-25 per cent income in a similar time. These figures were accounted for by the individual market associations.Be that as it may, the reason for VVIP card-wielding clients moving in the opposite direction of these shopping edifices is not the same as those referred to behind the incomplete shutdown of Chandni Chowk, Khari Baoli and Sadar Bazar. The purpose for this is any purchase above Rs 2 lakh must be joined by outfitting the PAN card, which is likewise imprinted in the bill. This is consequently answered to the Income Tax (IT) division, and on the off chance that IT sleuths discover one’s buys surpassing their enrolled wage, a notice might be sent at his or her doorstep at whatever time.

“On one side, suppliers constrained us to make payments for stock provided before while purchasing power of the shoppers recorded exceptional cuts bringing about tremendous money related misfortunes. The extreme outcomes of the impact have additionally been felt in Khari Baoli–Asia’s largest food and grocery markets–that have seen thin business nowadays,” said Pradeep Gupta, a dealer from Khari Baoli, the biggest dry organic product market of Asia.

Post demonetisation, the money emergency has prompted to a complex ascent in costs of fundamental family unit items amid past one month. With almost Rs 7 per kg increase in the unorganised market and Rs 10 per kg increase in the organised one, wheat prices have seen most escalation amid the period. Prior, a 20-kg acket of wheat was accessible for Rs 260-300 yet now the cost has gone up to Rs 340 in the unorganised market and Rs 350 to Rs 440 in the organised business sectors like Big Bazar, Reliance Fresh and other retail outlets. Costs of mustard oil, refined and different oils are likewise being sold on uplifted costs as discount markets have recorded an expansion of Rs 10-20 per litre. “Prior, mustard oil was accessible for Rs 100 a litre in the discount advertise however after the cash boycott, it has gone up to Rs 120. The same is accessible above Rs 145 in retail shops,” said Dinesh Gupta, a trader from a similar market.

To the extent costs of pulses are concerned, the majority of the things have recorded a climb. The most exceedingly terrible influenced are gram (chana dal) as its cost has shot up to Rs 125 per kg from Rs 85-100 in the wholesale market. A similar item is accessible at the rate of Rs 140-145 in the retail market. Rates of Bengal gram has additionally gone up from Rs 90 a kg to Rs 104 in wholesale markets. “In the midst of the emergency, the price of pulses has shot up. The more terrible is that it will record additionally increase as a few merchants may start hoarding,” said Dinesh Kumar, a dealer from Naya Bazar market. Desperate clients and retailers going to different mandis are likewise having an extreme time as they have been battling hard to meet their requirements. A majority of them have been requesting goods in lesser quantity bringing about lesser market exchanges. A few have even been requesting products on credits from wholesalers also. Correspondingly, a larger part of family units have been looking for sustenance things using a credit card from retailers prompting to the emergency.

The impacts of demonetisation on small traders and manufacturers in the national capital were discussed in a meeting of Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI), wherein agents communicated their apprehensions over the move. Representative from grocery, jewelry, transport, garment, property, and manufacturers raised the issues confronted by them and stretched out recommendations to meet the difficulties of the circumstance set apart by scarcity of usable notes and new banking money rules. The gathering stretched out different proposals to handle the circumstance, including increase in the deposit limit from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh in view of interests of small traders, said Brijesh Goel, national convener of CTI. A few traders likewise recommended withdrawal point of confinement to be upgraded from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 too.

While some proposed expansion of tax exemption limit utmost to Rs 10 lakh and cutting down the most extreme tax rate to 25 per cent, he said.”All the proposals will be talked about in future,” he said. The meeting also accentuated on the need to shield the interests of the traders and manufacturers. The CTI office bearers reported a helpline number for the brokers who require assistance from experts including advocates, contracted bookkeepers and specialists.

While in Chandni Chowk I saw huge lines on ATMs. Police deployed to control the crowd. I was told that the crime rate in Delhi has fallen after demonetisation. I asked the person so demonetisation is the sole reason behind crime rate decline, to which he proudly said, “yes…!” I simply replied then I think the government should conduct this demonetisation on yearly basis to control the crimes. There are many who have habit to connect things to anything. Government has itself paved way for organised crimes by demonetisation. I was also told that police has announced that if the people are spreading rumours on social media they will be punished under section 505 IPC. I am surprised that the same thing is being done by the government on daily basis, what about these? The queues have gone less, people are happy with demonetisation, all the Black Money will be flushed out by demonetisation, opposition is not happy as they did not get time to protect their black money, etc. new flashes by the government.

The government is promoting Cashless Economy but the reality at the grass root level is that most of the petrol pumps on the highways are only dealing in cash, thus tossing away Digitalization—the dream of Modi.

Today the Delhi Pradesh BJP has announced one laddoo per family for their patience on demonetisation. Shame on them for many died in queues for their own money while standing in ATM line and BJP is bragging about success. Height of fooling the masses!

Disclaimer: Views express are Author’s own.

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Modi’s Kashmir strategy boomerangs: Youth radicalised, Army faces heat

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ARMY POLICE STATION JAMMU KASHMIR
 The situation in Jammu and Kashmir is grim and both the PDP-BJP coalition government in the state and the Modi government at the centre has failed to put an end to the killings and violence in Kashmir, increasing radicalisation of youth who are taking up arms rather the crisis has deepened after the kathua gangrape came to light and the manner in which lawyers of the bar council and BJP ministers shielded the accused.

Against the backdrop of the increasing violence in Kashmir,the Indian Army has concluded  it would prioritise bringing radicalised youth to the mainstream through a “collective approach” and convince militants to “shun violence and gun culture”. The issue of conducting de-radicalising exercises along with counter-terror operations in the Kashmir Valley was discussed during the ongoing biannual Army Commanders’ Conference  amid reports that Islamic State ideology was moulding new-age militants in the state.

Director General Staff Duties Lt Gen AK Sharma  said priority is to conduct counter -terror operations to minimise collateral damage  and de-radicalisation of youth who appear to be getting influenced by Islamic State ideology amid heightened violence in the Valley.

 

But after four years in power at the centre, Ministry of Defence under Modi government has decided to set up  a Defence planning committee  with National Security Advisor as its head.The DPC will prepare national security strategy, strategic defence review and doctrines; international defence engagement strategy; roadmap to build defence manufacturing eco-system; strategy to boost defence exports; and prioritised capability development plans for the armed forces.

Apart from internal situation in Jammu and Kashmir,there have been over 650 ceasefire violations in the state in 2018  that have claimed 31 lives, including 16 security personnel.

Moreover, the operations of the armed forces have also been  obstructed  by the locals in Kashmir.Modi was handed a peaceful Kashmir but his policy has created a mess in Kashmir .The similar policy is being implemented across India where minorities (Muslims,Christians ) are being attacked, Dalits are being lynched and ghastly incidents of rapes in Surat,Unnao and kathua (in which BJP ministers supported the accused) have taken place and the prime minister’s leadership is missing miserably .

But it appears BJP made it a point to change the demography of the state of Jammu and Kashmir by coercive action and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent organization of BJP, has made strong inroads in the state  since the formation of BJP Government at the center.

“There has been an unprecedented growth in our Shakhas across the country in the last six years. As on date, there are more than 57,000 Shakhas,” said Dr Manmohan Vaidya, Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh (head of Media & Publicity) of RSS.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP used the surgical strikes by the Army to garner political dividends in Uttar  Pradesh elections  by putting up posters showing Pictures of army officers which violates army rules, traditions and military ethos.

Modi lacks the leadership quality that’s why he politicised military operations and did not realise the consequence  will be borne by the Army at the borders.

 

The Army has been defamed by the government as it has to work on the directives of the political ruling party at the centre, and the killings have only increased  and there has been a trust deficit  between the Army and the public.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti recently met Prime Minister and is learnt to have told that the situation is precarious with people getting killed regularly  and requested to find ways  to put a stop to this while also asking to urgently initiate the dialogue process to address alienation among the youths.

Modi has apprently no strategy to bring peace in Kashmir where armed forces are bearing the brunt of his unrealistic policies  and Kashmiris are adopting wahabism culture due to the harsh restrictions imposed by the government such as internet bans,blocking social media sites and section 144 and curfew.

Mehbooba Mufti  has requested repeatedly to the Centre to initiate the dialogue process with all stakeholders including Pakistan  but Dineshwar Sharma, the Centre’s special representative to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) for talks, was a very late approach of the Modi government.

It seams as if appointing Dineshwar is a lip service to the ongoing unrest in Kashmir as Centre’s interlocutor had expressed his concern about the trend of local boys joining the ranks of guerrilla outfits.

Mufti must understand that BJP has a tendency to defame its regional political allies in various states and this applies in Jammu and Kashmir too.The annual report released by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday has revealed startling number of killings that took place in the year 2017, in the state.

According to the report, in 2017, there were 342 violent incidents in Jammu and Kashmir, in which 80 armed personnel, 40 civilians and 213 militants were killed. The report stated, “The year 2017 also witnessed a 6.21 per cent increase and 166.66 per cent increase in the number of terrorists incidents and fatalities of civilians respectively in comparison to the corresponding period of 2016.”

After the death of the Hizbul Mujahideen’s Burhan Wani , the protests were handled sternly  and the protesters turned to stone pelting .The most alarming situation was witnessed when students, particularly schoolgirls were throwing stones at security personnel convey a deeper problem inside the Valley.Due to the heavy handed approach by the government,the number of homegrown militants have swelled post July 2016.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has transformed Kashmir to a volatile situation where Kashmiris which form an integral part of India , feel alienated  and Armed forces have to protect our borders from infiltration and due to politics  by the political parties even unarmed mob targets them. In the current scenario, security personnel and the Kashmiris are bearing the brunt.

 

Blog : By Arti Bali,
arti

(Senior Journalist)

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Modi deliberately omits to mention ‘rape’, refuses to recognise culpability of BJP men

During his programme ‘Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath’ Modi cunningly diverted the actual and direct reply regarding the incidents of rapes of minor girls in India, saying, violence against women an evil of not just the individual but also of society.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now trying to give moral advice to Congress President Rahul Gandhi not to politicise the rape cases that has sparked outrage across the country and abroad but he forgets that women’s security is very much a part of governance and he himself reminded the then Congress President Sonia Gandhi during UPA II tenure of ensuring women’s safety.

After four years, Prime minister Narendra Modi is being greeted with protests at home as well as in London due to his wrong policies and the rise of sexual violence against women, particularly two brutal rapes…

Angry people of Indian origin held placards reading “Modi go home”,“we stand against Modi’s agenda of hate and greed”, “Modi stop killing minorities” and “Justice for Kathua rape victim” demonstrated outside Downing Street and British parliament as Modi arrived for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May.

Whenever Modi is on a foreign trip his PR and election management team always prepare an interaction with Indian diaspora, businessmen and students and make it a point to stream it live for the domestic audience back home and is used as a perfect campaigning tool.

PM Modi has done numerous editions of Mann Ki Baat but has never addressed the real problems of the people of India.As people in India and abroad demand action from him particularly on the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, Modi condemned the “incidents” and promised justice to “ Indian daughters” although he refused to use the word “rape” and but has failed to recognise the culpability of his own supporters.

It seems Modi has forgotten the principles of governance. Modi was elected on the basis of his promises of providing
jobs, prosperity, transparent governance, financial well being for the middle class and the most important national security including ensuring the dignity of Indian forces that he made during 2014 Lok sabha elections.

Rather people of India are stunned to witness the type of divisive politics, hatred among the communities, financial emergency by imposing limitations on cash withdrawal from personal savings, increase in rape cases and accused enjoying political power or patronage, higher taxes on Middle-class people and costly education.

In May 2017, two Muslim men suspected of stealing cows died after being attacked by villagers in the northeastern state of Assam, according to local police.

In June, about 20 men beat four Muslims on a train in the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi, fatally stabbing a teenager and seriously injuring two others.

Mohammed Akhlaque was beaten to death in Uttar Pradesh in September 2015 over rumours that he had slaughtered a cow.

It appears Narendra Modi has connived with the BJP leaders.Hindu fundamentalists of different Hindutva groups
that Prime Minister will speak good narratives that shows him as secular but BJP leaders and other groups
can pursue the divisive politics to lure voters and fulfill the agenda of RSS.

BJP lawmaker Sanjay Patil in Karnataka has provoked outrage with his comment that the May 12 state election is “not about roads and drinking water but about Hindu-Muslim incidents”.”I am Sanjay Patil, I am Hindu, this is a Hindu Rashtra (nation) and we want to build the Ram temple”. he said.

This is not the first time that a BJP lawmaker has given a statement to polarise the country during election time.
BJP members have been promoting Hindu ideology which led to increase in attacks against Muslims and other minorities according to the Human Rights Watch.

A group of UK based Indian students and alumni Union (NISAU) UK, together with 19 India-related societies at leading UK universities, submitted the letter dated April 14 ahead of the Indian PM’s four-day visit to the UK,asking him to take “extraordinary measures” to ensure justice in rape cases reported in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

The PR team of Modi made it a point that the group of UK based Indian students who asked Modi to act against rising sexual cases against women were denied permission to attend the event of the British Parliament, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented his ‘Bharat ki Baat, Sabke Saath’ in London.

It is significant to mention that the National Indian Students and Alumni The University of Oxford India Society, London School of Economics India Society, University College London Indian Society, Imperial College London Indian Society and University of Birmingham Bharat Parivar are among the 19 signatories of the letter alongside NISAU UK, one of the UK’s largest Indian student organisation

The group claimed on Wednesday its signatories were being ‘pressurised to retract’.

In these four years of his rule, PM Modi has been consistently inaugurating the schemes and projects to lure voters
and not equipping the Army with sophisticated weapons to safeguard the Indian soldiers rather they are being defamed in the name of politics played by the PDP-BJP coalition government and the peaceful Kashmir has been transformed into a volatile state.

During his programme ‘Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath’ Modi cunningly diverted the actual and direct reply regarding the incidents of rapes of minor girls in India, saying, violence against women an evil of not just the individual but also of society.

He said, “we always ask our daughters about what they are doing, where they are going.We must ask our sons too. The person who is committing these crimes is also someone’s son. He has a mother too in his house.”

Modi deliberately omits to mention the work ‘rape’ and culpability of BJP leaders and members in the heinous crime.

Blog : By Arti Bali,
arti

(Senior Journalist)

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Trump’s tactics in diplomacy: Boosts Pompeo’s image, secures America’s interests

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Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump boosted the caliber of CIA director Mike Pompeo who traveled to North Korea to meet with leader Kim Jong Un, a secret visit undertaken by him to lay the groundwork for the planned upcoming historic summit between the two leaders.

President confirmed on Wednesday that he dispatched Pompeo to Pyongyang last month to meet with Kim to prepare on the denuclearisation agenda of the summit, which Trump hopes to persuade North Korea to abandon nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States.

The Kim dynasty has ruled North Korea since 1948 for three generations and Kim Jong-un has clear and long-term goals of achieving the status of a nuclear state which is a key to their grip on power at home and securing his regime from external threats posed by the United States and its allies.

The main reason behind posting a tweet was to provide an evidence for the Senate that Mike Pompeo is perfect diplomat capable of handling highly sensitive negotiations, which is Trump’s choice to replace the ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

During his Senate confirmation hearing last week, Pompeo said his main aim would ensure “an agreement so that the North Korean leadership will step away from its efforts to hold America at risk with the nuclear weapon and Kim should not think of any relaxation on sanctions until he dismantles the nuclear weapons.

Republicans have a narrow Senate majority and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are opposing Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the panel could be forced to take the unusual step of sending the nomination to the full Senate without a favorable recommendation.

The meeting will likely take place in late May or early June but the location is yet to be ascertained.Sites including Washington, Beijing, Seoul and Pyongyang have been ruled out rather the location that is neutral to both sides are being considered and possible locations for the summit include Geneva or any other venues in Europe or Asia.

Trump, currently hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago, said that if he felt that the meeting with Kim Jong-un will not be fruitful, he will cancel or walk out of the meeting.”If I think it’s a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we’re not going to go,” Trump said .”If the meeting, when I’m there, is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.”

Pompeo also raised the case of the three American prisoners with Kim in North Korea. Trump said his administration is working “very diligently” on the release of three Americans and also the unresolved cases of at least 13 Japanese who were abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s, one of Abe’s top priorities and an issue of intense emotional power in Japan.

White House officials said Pompeo’s conversations in Pyongyang has fueled Trump’s belief that productive negotiations were possible.Pompeo’ssecret trip to North Korea was arranged by South Korean intelligence chief Suh Hoon with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol, and was intended to assess whether Kim was serious about giving up his nuclear weapons program or not.

Earlier in 2000, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with Kim Jong Il, the current leader’s late father, to discuss strategic issues.and in 2014, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. traveled to Pyongyang to secure the release of two American captives. Prior to Trump-Kim summit, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is scheduled to meet Kim Jong-un at Panmunjom on April 27. If the summit goes well, it will be the start of a long process of negotiations that could pave the way for a deal to end the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

The first and foremost priority will be the denuclearisation of North Korea and another agenda will be pushed by South Korea for a more permanent peace agreement on the Korean Peninsula, potentially involving the U.S. and China, to replace the armistice that ended the Korean War.

The 1953 armistice was signed by North Korea, China, and the U.S.-led United Nations forces, of which South Korea was a part.

South Korea’s presidential chief of staff, Im Jong-Seok, who is leading Seoul’s preparatory committee for the inter-Korean summit, has said that South Korea has already arranged the “backbone” of the joint statement which is likely to be signed with North Korea.

South Korea is leaving no stone unturned to make the inter-Korean summit a success and also making an attempt to increase summits including a trilateral summit involving South Korea, North Korea and the US.

Contrary to his predecessors, Trump adopted an aggressive posture of rhetoric and by asking North Korea directly to dismantle nuclear program rather than asking for returning to six-party talks, has been successful in compelling North Korea to first implement actions on denuclearisation rather demanding concessions.

Abe said Trump’s “unwavering conviction, as well as his determination,” have made talks with North Korea possible.
Abe made it clear that Without denuclearisation, no concessions will be given, “Maximum pressure should be maintained, and actual implementation of concrete actions toward denuclearization will be demanded.”

It was the initiative of South Korean President Moon that diplomatic channels were started with Kim Jong-un and the opportunity was wisely utilized during Winter Games, held in PyeongChang in February in which North Korean athletes took part.

A high-ranking South Korean delegation led by Chung Eui-Yong, the head of the presidential national security officials met the North Korean dictator in Pyongyang in March 2018 aimed at reducing nuclear tensions and paved the way for US talks.

“Most of all, I will deliver President Moon Jae-in’s sincere and firm resolution to maintain the dialogue and improvement in relations between the South and the North, which were fostered on the occasion of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula,” Chung said.

Blog : By Arti Bali,
arti

(Senior Journalist)

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