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Indian economy suffering after note ban: New York Times

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New York, January 10: The Indian economy is suffering following demonetisation and a shortage of cash made life increasingly difficult for Indians, the New York Times has said.

Saying the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes “was atrociously planned and executed“, the daily said in an editorial on Monday that there was little evidence that it had checked corruption.

Two months after the Indian government abruptly decided to swap the most widely used currency notes for new bills, the economy is suffering,” the Times said.

“The manufacturing sector is contracting; real estate and car sales are down; and farm workers, shopkeepers and other Indians report that a shortage of cash has made life increasingly difficult,” it said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on November 8 that the high-value currency that made up 86 per cent of all currency in circulation could no longer be used in most transactions and would be replaced by new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes.

Modi said this was necessary to combat corruption, black money and terror funding.

But the swap was atrociously planned and executed. Indians had to line up for hours outside banks to deposit and withdraw cash,” the daily noted.

“New notes have been in short supply because the government did not print enough of them in advance. The cash crunch has been worst in small towns and rural areas.

“The amount of cash in circulation fell by nearly half, from 17.7 trillion rupees ($260 billion) on November 4 to 9.2 trillion ($135 billion) on December 23, according to the Reserve Bank of India.

“No economy can lose that much currency in a few weeks without creating major hardship – certainly not one like that of India, where cash is used for about 98 per cent of consumer transactions by volume.

And while a growing number of people have debit cards and cellphones that can be used to transfer money, most merchants are not set up to accept such electronic payments,” the Times said.

The editorial said “there is little evidence that the currency swap has succeeded in combating corruption or that it will forestall future bad behaviour once more cash becomes available”.

The government had said that people bringing more than Rs 250,000 of the old notes to banks would have to show that they had paid taxes owed on the money.

“Because of those rules, officials had expected that a lot of black money would never make it back to banks.

Yet news outlets are reporting that Indians have successfully deposited the vast majority of old notes. That suggests that either there wasn’t as much black money out there as the government claimed or that tax cheats found a way to deposit their hoards of cash without attracting the government’s attention, perhaps with the help of money launderers.

“Many Indians have said that they are willing to tolerate some pain in the fight against corruption.

“But their patience won’t last if the cash crunch continues and the swap does little to reduce corruption and tax evasion, as many economists predict,” the daily said.

IANS

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Foreign currencies worth Rs 2,10,00,000 recovered at Jaipur airport

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Currency

Jaipur, July 17: The Currencies of Muscat, Bangladesh, and Qatar, worth Rs 2,10,00,000 in Indian National Rupee, recovered from a Dubai-bound passenger by Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and police at Jaipur airport on Tuesday. 

The matter has been handed over to Income-Tax department.

On Monday, the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) seized 1550 pieces of US 100-dollar bill currency notes worth 1,05,40,000 INR, concealed between layers of the walls of cardboard boxes, from two passengers at NSCBI Airport in Kolkata.

Further probe is underway.

WeForNews 

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Baby selling scandal: Missionaries of Charity Homes to be inspected

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New Delhi, July 17 : The Central government has issued instructions to states to carry out inspections at all child care homes run by Missionaries of Charity organisation, founded by Mother Teresa, in the wake of recent cases of alleged sale of babies at a Missionaries of Charity shelter home in Jharkhand.

“Taking cognizance of the recent cases of illegal adoptions carried out by Missionaries of Charity in Jharkhand, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has instructed the states to get child care homes run by Missionaries of Charity all over the country inspected immediately,” an official press release said.

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi also asked state governments to ensure that all child care institutions are registered and linked to the country’ top adoption body, CARA, within a month.

A nun and a woman employee of the Nirmal Hriday in Ranchi, run by Mother Teresa’s charity, were arrested earlier this month for allegedly selling babies for adoption.

Jharkhand Police said on Sunday that they have found the fourth child “given away for free” by a woman who worked as a nun for a shelter home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Ranchi.

The Jharkhand Police on Sunday found a fourth baby allegedly sold by an employee and a nun of Nirmal Hriday.
The police statement came a day after the woman “confessed” about having sold three children and giving away the fourth for free to a person without documentation.

The racket at the Ranchi branch triggered a state-wide crackdown on shelter homes, particularly those run by the Missionaries of Charity.

 

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2,201 pilgrims leave for Amarnath Yatra

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Amarnath

Jammu, July 17: A batch of 2,201 Amarnath pilgrims left Jammu on Tuesday for the cave shrine in the Kashmir Valley, police said.

Since it started on June 28, more that 197,000 pilgrims have already performed the annual pilgrimage.

“Escorted convoys carrying the 2,201 Yatris left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here for the Valley,” the police said.

“Of these, 1,344 are heading to the Pahalgam base camp while the 857 others are going to the Baltal base camp.”

Coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival, the Amarnath Yatra will end on August 26.

IANS

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