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Government indulging in ‘extortion’ in name of Digital India: Congress

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Randeep Singh Surjewala

New Delhi, March 7 : The Congress on Tuesday alleged that the Narendra Modi government was indulging in “plain extortion” in the name of Digital India by levying various taxes and charges on digital transactions.

“After forcing the devastating decision of demonetisation upon the people of India, the Narendra Modi government is brazenly indulging in organised loot and legalised plunder in the name of digital transactions,” Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said here.

“In the name of digital transactions, last year the government earned Rs 6,750 crore through taxes/charges from us. This year, this amount is expected to climb to Rs 26,000 crore,” he added.

He said that there are five types of charges/taxes levied by the government, viz, Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) when one pays through cards, over the counter transaction charges, charges on ATM transactions after a fixed number of transactions in a month, charges for not maintaining a minimum balance and charges on online transactions.

“We were told the cost of printing new currency notes would be around Rs 12,000-15,000 crore. To recover this cost, the government is now levying all kinds of charges and taxes. This is nothing but plain extortion in the name of Digital India,” he added.

As of now the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR), that is, the rate charged to a merchant by a bank for providing debit and credit card services, which is paid by the consumer is 0.25 per cent for a debit card transaction worth Rs 1,000; 0.5 per cent for a debit card transaction worth Rs 1,001 to Rs 2,000; and one per cent for a debit card transaction more than Rs 2,000.

“According to various media reports, the MDR can now be increased from April 1, 2017. We urge the Government to not fleece the already burdened citizens of the country,” he said.

Surjewala pointed out that the banks have started charging Rs 150 per transaction for cash deposits and withdrawals beyond four free transactions in a month.

According to new rules, up to five non-home branch transactions will be free, subject to a maximum per-day deposit of Rs 50,000. For larger deposits or the sixth transaction, bank would charge Rs 2.50 per Rs 1,000, or Rs 95 per transaction, whichever is higher.

“These charges amount to burning holes in the pockets of the hard working honest citizens. Why should people pay to withdraw and deposit their own hard earned money?” Surjewala said.

The Congress leader also criticised the State Bank of India’s reintroduction of “minimum balance” rule for savings bank accounts under which a customer would be charged an amount for not maintaining a minimum of Rs 5,000 in his account.

“The UPA government in 2012 had done away with this charge, but the Modi government has re-introduced it,” he said.

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Urmila Matondkar to join Shiv Sena on Monday, a year after exiting Congress

Urmila Matondkar had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North seat as a Congress candidate. Urmila Matondkar had taken on senior BJP leader Gopal Shetty.

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urmila matondkar congress mumbai

Urmila Matondkar, Bollywood actor-turned-politician who contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on a Congress ticket and resigned five months later, is all set to join the Shiv Sena. Urmila Matondkar will join Shiv Sena on Monday, over a year after leading the Congress party. No further details about her joining the Shiv Sena have been shared.

The development comes a year after Urmila Matondkar resigned from the primary membership of the Congress, citing petty politics as the reason. Urmila Matondkar had joined the Congress in March 2019 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and exited it in September 2019.

In her statement, Urmila Matondkar said, “My political and social sensibilities refuse to allow vested interests in the party to use me as a means to fight petty in-house politics instead of working on a bigger goal in Mumbai Congress.”

Urmila Matondkar said the thought of resignation came to her after no action was taken regarding her letter in which she had criticised close aides of senior party leader Sanjay Nirupam.

“To my utter dismay, the letter containing privileged and confidential communication was conveniently leaked to the media which according to me was an act of blatant betrayal. Needless to say, no one from the party was apologetic or even concerned towards me for the same despite my repeated protests,” Urmila Matondkar said in her statement.

Urmila Matondkar also said she will continue to work for people with honesty and dignity as she thanked all those who helped and supported her. On November 30, Urmila Matondkar is joining the Shiv Sena.

Urmila Matondkar had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North seat as a Congress candidate. Urmila Matondkar had taken on senior BJP leader Gopal Shetty.

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India

Centre should withdraw ‘anti-farmer laws’, says Digvijaya Singh

If Modi ji had discussed with the farmers before bringing the anti-farmer laws, why would this situation have happened? Modi ji should withdraw these legislations.

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digvijay singh

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over ongoing protests against “anti-farmer” laws and said that the Centre should withdraw these legislations.

Singh added that these laws should be submitted to the Parliamentary Committee for reconsideration after discussing with the farmers.

“If Modi ji had discussed with the farmers before bringing the anti-farmer laws, why would this situation have happened? Modi ji should withdraw these legislations. And again after discussing with the farmers, submit these laws to the Parliamentary Committee for reconsideration,” he tweeted.

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Politics

Now, Rabri Devi dubs Nitish as ‘warrior of sophistry’

Tejashwi also alleged that Nitish Kumar was facing actions in a murder case of 1991 and that the case was closed recently.

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Rabri Devi

Patna: A day after RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav took a dig at Nitish Kumar and provoked him enough to angrily hit back, Tejashwi’s mother Rabri Devi on Saturday dubbed the Bihar Chief Minister as a “warrior of sophistry”.

“He is a ‘kutark ke yoddha’ (warrior of sophistry). He claims that he made Tejashwi the Deputy CM of Bihar. It is absolute rubbish. He doesn’t have any shame left. In the 2015 Assembly elections, we won 80 seats and the Janata Dal-United got only 69 seats. Tejashwi was the leader of 80 MLAs and Nitish did not oblige him by offering the post of Deputy CM. You (Nitish) have to thank Lalu Prasad ji for extending a political lifeline to you in 2015,” Rabri told the media at her residence here.

“When a person becomes weak, he generally becomes angry and blows his fuse. Nitish Kumar is losing his cool these days and using unparliamentary language against the Leader of Opposition (Tejashwi). The CM is using highly objectionable words for him,” said Rabri Devi, a former Chief Minister of Bihar.

Nitish Kumar on Friday lost his cool after a personal attack by Tejashwi, who said in the Assembly that Nitish Kumar did not become father to a second child as he was probably scared of girl child.

Tejashwi also alleged that Nitish Kumar was facing actions in a murder case of 1991 and that the case was closed recently.

An angry Nitish Kumar in his speech later in the Bihar Assembly accused Tejashwi of lying and indulging in idle chatter.

He also clarified that he had made the remarks about 8-9 children of people just to inject some humour during an election rally.

Meanwhile, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) President Jitan Ram Manjhi said: “Tejashwi crossed the limit in the Assembly and used unparliamentary language to personally attack the Chief Minister. He should apologise. Nitish Kumar had made the remark at a political rally and not in the Assembly.”

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