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Demonetisation was to change the way India spends: Arun Jaitley

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Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, Nov 7:  Mounting a powerful defence of the note ban aimed  to curb black money and corruption, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said that as a disruptor of the status quo ante the demonetisation , along with other actions taken, has set in motion a process of changing the way India spends money.

Addressing the India Today Conclave Next here, Jaitely asserted “If you look back at all the steps we have taken in the last three-to-four years, besides demonetisation, we have succeeded in bringing centre-stage the whole issue of how financial transactions in India ought to be carried out”.

“The question before us was do we continue with the status quo ante of a high cash dominated society with all its aberrations,” he said, adding that the situation was untenable for the fastest growing big economy that aspires to “sit at the high table with developed nation”, he added.

The choice staring at the face was whether “we allow the status quo to continue or set in motion a process guided by the belief that an aspirational nation has to change.”

Highlighting the normal practice of purchasing real estate by partly paying in cash, or of companies having dual bank accounts to evade tax, the Finance Minister noted that various related actions taken had the triple objective of cutting cash use, increase the country’s tax base and the number of digital transactions.

“You have to see it (demonetisation) together with the spending curbs imposed on cash, the thrust on income disclosures, the thrust against benami properties,” he stated.

“Taking all this, there’s going to be a sea change in the manner in which India spends money,” he further asserted.

Terming the bold step against black money as an ongoing process, Jaitley described the fact that most of the old currency notes had returned to the system as a success for note ban.

“Cash outside the system can be laundered, but once deposited it lacks anonymity..it is in an account, which has a holder with a name and the money can be taxed,” Jaitley said.

Speaking about the impact of note ban on the GDP and on the Indian informal and small scale sector , Jaitley stated this was the transitory effect of “two back-to-back reforms including GST.”

“Is the setback for one or two quarters too much price to pay? Do we forego structural reforms for that,” the finance minister questioned.

Wefornews Bureau 

India

WB Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee resigns

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Amid a string of exits from the Trinamool Congress party, West Bengal Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee has resigned from his office as Cabinet minister. His resignation has been accepted by West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, ANI reported.

“It has been a great honour and privilege to serve the people of West Bengal. I heartily convey my gratitude for getting this opportunity,” he wrote in his resignation letter.

“I have considered each one of you as my extended family and your support has always motivated me to go the extra mile and be at your service in a better way possible, hence I am announcing my formal resignation on this platform and have informed the concerned authority as well. I hope that in the years to come I will be able to be at each of your service in the best way possible as that has been the sole reason I am into politics,”

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Gehlot-led AICC team to mull Cong prospects in Kerala polls

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Ashok Gehlot

A three-member committee set up by the AICC will hold discussions on Friday evening and Saturday with state leaders on the prospects of the Congress as well as the United Democratic Front in the 2021 Assembly elections.

Led by Rajasthan Chief minister Ashok Gehlot, the team constituted by the All India Congress Committee comprises former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro and former Karnataka Deputy CM G Parameshwara.

While Falerio and Parameshwara have already arrived in the state capital, Gehlot will reach here on Friday evening, accompanied by AICC General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal. The meeting will be held thereafter.

Falerio and Parameshwara have already met with the ‘big three’ in the state Congress — KPCC President Mullappaly Ramachandran, former Chief minister Oomen Chandy, and opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.

KPCC General Secretary Manacadu Suresh told IANS: “Both Felerio and Parameshwara are here and meeting all senior state leaders. They will make a small presentation when Gehlot and Venugopal reach here by evening.”

While an informal meeting will be held after the arrival of the two senior leaders, a series of meeting are slated on Saturday to discuss the prospective party candidates in the Assembly elections likely to be held in May 2021 to elect 140 MLAs.

As Congress Working Committee member and former Kerala Chief Minister AK Antony has openly called for fielding “new faces”, the Congress will be forced to choose several youth leaders for party tickets. Gehlot and his team will have a close look at the strengths and limitations of the new faces proposed to be fielded by the state leadership.

KPCC chief Ramachandran told IANS: “There will be an open meeting between AICC observers and the state leaders’ team. We will discuss the election strategy, pros and cons of fielding new candidates, relations with coalition partners, and finances for the polls. All team members are senior politicians and we will make use of their vast experience and expertise in the run-up to the polls.”

The Congress contested 87 seats in 2016 elections but won only 22, while its United Democratic Front partner Indian Union Muslim League contested 25 seats and won 18.

In the 2021 polls, the Congress is likely to contest 95 Assembly seats and is hoping to lead in 27 of them. The UDF will give two seats to the Communist Marxist Party (CMP), which has been with the UDF since its formation. Forward Block will get one seat while Kerala Congress splinter group led by PJ Joseph will get 7 to 9 seats to contest.

Source: IANS

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PMC Bank case: ED searches 5 locations in Mumbai

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The ED officials, however, remained tight-lipped about sharing any further details.

An ED source said that the agency had got some links that amounts in crores of Rupees were transferred from the HDIL to the Viva group trust and companies, which is controlled by the family members of Thakur.

Earlier this month, the ED had questioned Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut in connection with the case.

Source: IANS

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