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Demonetisation to not trace corrupt money: French Nobel laureate Jean Tirole

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Jean Tirole

New Delhi, January 6: French Nobel laureate Jean Tirole on Thursday raised doubts on how Indian demonetisation would trace black money as it is invested in real estate, gold and other things.

The Nobel laureate at a lecture organised by Presidency University said Indian demonetisation “can’t catch much of corrupt money” and the concept “cashless” should be attached to convenience and not to trace black money.

If India could successfully get rid of much of the unaccounted cash, it will make corruption more difficult in the future, the expert said.

Citing similar attempts in Scandinavian countries, Tirole cautioned that demonetisation in India is different.

“People want to get rid of cash for several reason and you see that in Scandinavia for example, Denmark and Sweden are trying to get rid of cash because it is more convenient. In India, the reason is to get rid of corruption,” he said.

He further added cashless economy, “is a good thing” but “it has to be ensured that poor people who are most dependent on cash do not suffer”.

The Modi government’s decision to scrap 86 % of country’s cash has been severely criticized by experts around the world. “This demonetisation may go down in recent history as the biggest example of firing cannonballs to kill mosquitos, with huge collateral damage,” said Maitreesh Ghatak of the London School of Economics.

Indian counterparts from Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi like Jayati Ghosh said that in the entire episode of demonetisation, the “government’s arrogance and insensitivity have been breathtaking”.

“But as the mess continues and the material damage grows, its ability to hoodwink the population cannot last for long,” she added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led demonetisation has crossed 60 days and cash crunch has become the order for the masses. Not only manufacturing and production, consumption and entire supply channel is affected post noteban. The situation is even worse at rural areas. Time and again, in past two months, several experts have criticized government’s aristocratic move to ban currency bills and hold back cash supply in a democratic government elected by people.

Experts believe that that cash clampdown is going to hurt Indian economy for at least two quarters and significantly hurts its position as one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Wefornews Bureau

Analysis

Saab is interested in Indian fighter jet deal: Swedish official

The Saab Gripen will be contesting with the likes of the Russian MiG 35, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Boeing F/A 18 and Lockheed Martin F-16 for the upcoming deal.

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Rafale deal scam

Amid the raging controversy over the Defence Ministry’s procurement of the Rafale fighter aircraft from French firm Dassault Aviation, a senior Swedish official has said that his country’s firm Saab, in its Gripen aircraft, has the requisite experience to contest for the upcoming Indian deal for manufacturing 110 new fighter jets under the Make in India programme.

“I know that Saab is interested, they want to be a part of this procurement,” Teppo Tauriainen, Director General for Trade in the Swedish Foreign Ministry, told IANS in an interview here.

“They think they have something good to offer that will be of interest to India,” Tauriainen said.

“They, of course, know what the expectations of the government is in terms of local production and cooperation with a local partner.”

India is expected to select by the end of this year one fighter aircraft that will be manufactured by the private sector under the Make in India programme for supply to the Indian Air Force.

The Saab Gripen will be contesting with the likes of the Russian MiG 35, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Boeing F/A 18 and Lockheed Martin F-16 for the upcoming deal.

While MiG has already said that it will have state-owned Hindustan Aeronautic Limited (HAL) as its local partner, Indian companies like Tata, Reliance Defence, Mahindra and Adani are in the fray for local partners in the project that is expected to be worth over $20 billion (Rs 1.44 lakh crore).

Tauriainen said that for Saab, contesting for the deal will be nothing new as it has signed a similar deal for Gripen with the Brazilian government with Embraer as its local partner.

“I have myself visited the Brazilian partner, Embraer, and seen there are a lot of spin-offs locally in the Brazilian economy from this fighter jet deal,” he said.

“So, I think for Saab, as a company, it won’t be unusual to do it the way the Indian government wants it to happen.”

During his visit to Sweden in April this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that defence and security have emerged as an important pillar of the India-Sweden bilateral partnership.

“Sweden has been a partner of India in the defence sector for a long time. I am confident new opportunities for cooperation in this sector will arise in the future, especially in defence production,” Modi said.

During that visit, an India-Sweden Partnership was also announced with a fund of 50 million Swedish kronor (around $5.6 million) for innovation cooperation in the fields of smart cities and sustainability.

Asked what steps have been taken in this connection, Tauriainen said that the dialogue for these projects has started though none of these projects have started operating.

“But we have come quite far to identify areas where we think there is a potential to do cooperation,” he said.

He said that sustainable technology is a broad area and is very much related to how cities are built in terms of transport, energy, waste and waste water.

“There we have some interesting experiences and I hope that is of relevance to India,” Tauriainen said.

“Some technologies we have already tested in Sweden. Other technologies will have to be adapted to Indian conditions,” he added.

In Sweden, waste is actually used to generate power and only one per cent of the waste goes to the landfill.

Asked about the presence of around 180 Swedish companies in India and their role in the Indian economy, Tauriainen said these are doing good business despite “some limitations”.

“They wouldn’t mind if those limitations are taken away. But they are interested in the Indian market and most of them are interested in expanding,” he said.

(Aroonim Bhuyan can be contacted at [email protected])

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Supreme Court to monitor CBI probe into Muzaffarpur rape case

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, Sep 20: The Supreme Court on Thursday decided to monitor the CBI probe in the case of Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes and sought a status report from the central agency in four weeks. The top court asked the media to exercise caution while reporting the case.

A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta also vacated a Patna High Court order restraining the media from reporting the case. The apex court clarified that “there can’t be a blanket ban but the media needs to be cautious and diligent while reporting”.

Earlier, the Patna High Court was monitoring the case.

The apex court also reiterated that the media can’t telecast or publish images of the victims of sexual offences even in morphed or blurred form.

“The media is requested not to sensationalise such events,” the apex court said.

Clarifying that the victims of sexual abuse can’t be interviewed or their identity revealed in any manner, the court said that even their families should not be identified.

The sexual abuse of at least 34 girl inmates at the shelter home in Muzaffarpur came to light during a social audit by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

IANS

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Imran Khan writes to PM Modi, seeks resumption of dialogue

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Imran Khan

Islamabad, Sep 20: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote a  letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, seeking for the resumption of dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad.

Last month, Modi had written to Khan congratulating him on taking charge as Pakistan’s 22nd prime minister.

Responding to this, the Pakistani Minister in September 14  dated letter, said “I endorse your sentiment that the only way forward for our two countries lies in ‘constructive engagement.’ It was in this spirit that Pakistan’s Minister of Law and Information attended the funeral of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi”.

On India-Pakistan relations, Khan wrote ” Pakistan and India have an undeniably challenging relationship. We, however, owe it to our peoples, especially the future generations, to peacefully resolve all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, to bridge differences and achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. Siachin and Sir Creek also need close attention towards resolution”.

“Pakistan remains ready to discuss terrorism. Discussion on trade, people to people contacts, religious tourism, humanitarian issues are also important”, he added.

The letter also stated “Building on mutual desire for peace between our two countries, I wish to propose a meeting between Foreign Minister, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and External Affairs Minister, Ms. Sushma Swaraj, before the informal meeting of the SAARC Foreign Ministers at the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly in New York. They can explore the way forward, especially the holding of the SAARC Council of Ministers followed by the SAARC Summit in Islamabad. The summit will offer an opportunity for you to visit Pakistan and for us to restart the stalled dialogue process. I look forward to working with you for the benefit of the people of both our countries.”

The outreach by the cricketer-turned-politician has come ahead of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), which is slated to be held in New York for next week.

The dialogue between the two neighbouring countries remains suspended since 2015 due to incidents of cross-border terrorism and  ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops along the Line of Control and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir.

WeForNews 

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