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Parliamentary panel can summon Modi if Patel’s reply not satisfactory

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New Delhi, January 9: The PAC of Parliament can call Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency bill on a single stroke on November 8, if the answers provided by top finance ministry officials and the RBI Governor Urjit Patel fail to satisfy the panel.

Just a day before PAC had sent a detailed questionnaire to RBI and Finance Ministry for answers on viability of decision of demonetisation of 86 % of country’s currency and central bank’s preparedness for such a massive change in the economy.

The parliamentary meeting on the noteban of high currency bills has been called on January 28th, in which the RBI Governor Urjit Patel, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das are also called upon.

Read More: Parliamentary panel sends questions to Urjit Patel over demonetisation

PAC Chairman and senior Congress leader K V Thomas said to media, “We have not yet received answers for the questions we have sent to them. They will reply few days before the January 20th meeting. Their replies will be discussed in detail.”

When media asked if the PAC would call the PM, he said: The committee has all right to call anybody involved in the matter. But that will depend on the outcome of the meeting. We can call PM on demonetisation issue if members unanimously decide.

Citing his meeting with PM Modi after the announcement of demonetisation on November 8, Thomas said, “I had met him and he said that the situation will be normal after 50 days by December-end. But it does not looks like.”

Thus, PAC has decided to call the top officials involved in the decision making process this month, he said, adding that the demonetisation has impacted the country’s economy.

“The PM is misleading the country to satisfy his ego. He is trying to justify his wrong decisions. He has done in a callous manner by introducing Rs 2,000 notes,” he said.

“In a country where there is a call drop problem and telecom facilities are not smooth, how can PM expect e-transactions would take place on mobiles. Do we have sufficient infrastructure?” he questioned.

Asked what kind of questionnaire been sent to the RBI chief and top finance ministry officials, Thomas said that the PAC has raised questions on all aspects of demonetisation. The key questions include who were involved in the decision-making? how much money has come back into banks after demonetisation? Is there a law that can restrict people’s access their money? How much money has been pumped back into the system? If black money issue has been addressed and what an impact on the economy and poor?.

The Public Accounts Committee or PAC is a committee of selected members of Parliament constituted for auditing “revenue and expenditure” of the Government of India. It has all rights to question the members of government including the Prime Minister, if needed. The PAC, which scrutinises the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), takes suo motu note of the important matters.

Sixty days have passed since PM Modi had announced demonetisation of high denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 to curb black money and terrorism in the country. Since Nov 8, neither PM nor RBI has been successful in easing out cash crunch and bring normalcy in the country. There is no official account of total deposits of demonetised notes and remonetised money bills. India has wittnessed a harrowing experience of currency exchange and cash crunch which was not only unprecendented but also uncalled for, as neither terrorism nor black money could be counters by banning currency in the country. So PAC seeks a satisfactory response from the ruling government.

Wefornews Bureau

 

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Former Nagaland Deputy Speaker Longkmer dies in Delhi

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New Delhi/Kohima, Sep 22 : Former Nagaland Assembly Deputy Speaker and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party legislator, Imtikumzuk Longkumer, died at a private hospital in Delhi on Saturday.

Longkumer is survived by his wife Imkongzenla and his three children.

He was first elected to the 12th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on Congress ticket in 2013 and later joined Naga People’s Front. He was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary in the T.R. Zeliang government and was later elevated to post of Deputy Speaker.

Longkumer, who retained his Aonglenden assembly constituency in the February 23 Nagaland assembly polls, was appointed as an Advisor to the Sericulture and Excise department in the BJP-backed People’s Democratic Alliance government.

Mourning Longkumer, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said: “His death has left a deep void in the state and is a big loss to the family, village and the party. He was a great asset to the government as well as the NDPP and his absence will be felt tremendously.”

T.R. Zeliang, the leader of opposition in Nagaland Assembly described Longkumer as a “a very simple man”. He said: “He was a man who had a very positive outlook towards life. In his untimely demise, we have lost a good soul.”

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RTI corrects data for women enrolled, benefited under maternity scheme in UP

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New Delhi, Sep 22: The Women and Child Development Ministry in an RTI reply to IANS has corrected the figures for women enrolled and benefited under the maternity scheme Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) in Uttar Pradesh stating that the previous RTI “contained certain errors inadvertently.”

According to the latest RTI, there are more than 6 lakh enrollment and the beneficiaries are more than 5 lakh till August 27, 2018. While in the previous RTI reply it was mentioned that only 184 women had enrolled for the PMMVY while the beneficiaries stood nil.

As per the second RTI, not just for UP that it has issued corrected figures. Even for states like Mizoram, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Meghalaya, and Nagaland, the figures of women enrolled and benefited under the PMMVY scheme have been changed.

However, according to the latest RTI, the money sanctioned or released for the scheme in UP and other states remains unchanged.

A total of Rs 2,049 crore in 2017-18 has been approved by the central government for 29 states and seven Union Territories covering 717 districts. Overall, 44 lakh women have enrolled across the country and 37 lakh have been benefited under the scheme.

Under the scheme, eligible beneficiaries get Rs 5,000 after delivery of a child in an institution like a hospital and the remaining cash incentive of Rs. 1,000 is given as maternity benefit under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) for Rs 6,000.

Applicable to women aged above 19 for the first birth, the scheme provides partial compensation to women for the wage-loss during birth and child care and provides conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices, according to the information available on the scheme.

IANS

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It is time to give a befitting reply to Pakistan in same coin: Army chief

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New Delhi, Sep 22: Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said that it is time to give a befitting reply to Pakistan in the same coin but not resorting to similar kind of barbarism.

Speaking to ANI, Rawat said “We need to take stern action to avenge the barbarism that terrorists & the Pakistan Army have been carrying out. Yes, it’s time to give it back to them in the same coin, not resorting to similar kind of barbarism. But I think the other side must also feel the same pain”.

On Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s reaction to India calls off the meeting between Foreign Ministers, he stated ” I think our govt’s policy has been quite clear and concise. We’ve made no bones about the fact that talks and terrorism can’t go hand in hand. Pakistan needs to curb the menace of terrorism”.

Rawat also talked about the need of modernise weapons and said procurement of arms will continue.

“We continuously need modern weapons. There is a limit till which we can use a particular weapon, & as new technologies come, we also want them to be included in our forces. So buying of weapons continue”.

“But I don’t agree that it reduces our spirit. It’s not that we don’t have some other option. I don’t want to talk specifically about Rafale, but modern weapons are the need of every force. The delay in the composition is not good for the forces”, he added.

When asked about Army being used in political campaigns, he responded saying ” I don’t want to comment on political issues. But I’ll like to say that we’re getting full cooperation. We’re given freedom on how to carry out our operations. And you can see its effect in Kashmir and North-east”.

WeForNews 

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