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PM Modi went for demonetisation first, RBI’s formal approval came five weeks later

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Demonetisation queue

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On a day when ‘#DemonetisationYaadRakhna’ (always remember demonetisation) was a top tending hashtag on Twitter to remind people of the hardships brought about by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden and drastic step, news reports based on reply to a RTI query said he had gone ahead and done it even before formal approval by the RBI central board.

The demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, which saw 86 per cent of high-value currency going out of circulation, was announced by PM Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016.

Urjit Patel-led RBI board had met just two-and-a-half hours before Modi’s announcement, said media reports. However, the minutes of the meeting were signed by the RBI governor five weeks later on December 15, 2016.

According to the minutes of the 561st meeting of the RBI’s Central Board, which was convened hurriedly in New Delhi at 5.30 pm on November 6, the central bank’s directors described the move as “commendable” but also warned that demonetisation “will have a short-term negative effect on the GDP for the current year”, the Indian Express had reported last year.

The RBI board, which included the present Governor Shaktikanta Das as a director, had also observed that demonetisation would not have any material impact on tackling the black money menace or counterfeit currency — the prime objectives cited by the PM while announcing the move.

“It is a commendable measure but will have short-term negative effect on GDP for the current year. Most of the black money is held not in the form of cash but in the form of assets such as gold or real estate and that this move would not have a material impact on those assets,” as per the minutes posted by RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak on the website of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.

In another reply, the RBI revealed it had no data on the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes used to pay for utility bills such as fuel at petrol pumps — payments that are anonymous and are believed to have formed a good part of the demonetised currency that returned to the banking system.

The RBI, in its annual report for 2017-18 on August 29, 2018, said that nearly all the money that was withdrawn returned to the banking system. The RBI said it had received Rs 15.31 lakh crore of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, or 99.3 per cent of the Rs 15.417 lakh crore worth of notes which were in circulation as on November 8, 2016.

This meant that just Rs 10,720 crore of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes failed to come back to the RBI, as against government expectations that well over Rs 3 lakh crore of black money would not return to the banking system.

The sudden withdrawal of notes led to a liquidity shortage and GDP growth declining close to 1.5 per cent.

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that the RBI board had backed the move as it was “pressured” by the government. “Demonetisation, issued through a Tughlaqi farmaan (autocratic and arbitrary decision), had destroyed the Indian economy,” PTI quoted Ramesh as saying.

Ramesh said if Congress came to power all abnormal flows from legitimate tax havens and abnormal deposits in cooperative banks would be probed. “The first thing that we will do when we come to power is restore the autonomy and independence of the RBI,” he said.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Rameshwaram Cafe blast: Karnataka Home Minister reveals how police inputs helped NIA arrest accused

The blast at the cafe occurred during lunch hour on March 1 at around 1 pm, which left 10 people injured

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Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said on Saturday that inquiry teams were attempting to determine whether the two suspects in the Rameshwaram cafe blast who were detained by the NIA had any connections to other terrorist groups. He also praised the state police for their contributions, some of which resulted in their arrest. Meanwhile, the suspects have been placed in 10-day police custody on remand.

The Karnataka police and the NIA have both performed incredibly well. In the beginning, they obtained all of the CCTV footage and monitored one of the accused, which helped in their arrest, he said.

The minister disclosed how the NIA was able to arrest the accused, which was possible because of a tip from the police.

He said the police shared very good inputs with the NIA, like the cap the accused was wearing, which was purchased from Chennai, and the telephone number he had given in the shop.

According to G Parameshwara, the services were also looking for connections between them and other crimes related to terrorism. He said that they might be attempting to flee from West Bengal to Bangladesh, where they were apprehended by the NIA.

He said the team is investigating the real motive behind the blast and their involvement with other terror outfits (ISIS), as these two (accused) are supposed to be involved in the earlier Shivamogga blast and kept running for three to four days ahead of getting arrested in this case, Parameshwara stated.

Since they were apprehended in West Bengal, a state that shares a border with Bangladesh, it’s possible that they wanted to leave the country. However, currently, they don’t have any precise information on this. He continued, They will discover in due course if there is someone assisting from that side (Bangladesh).

Meanwhile, the blast at the cafe occurred during lunch hour on March 1 at around 1 pm, which left 10 people injured. On March 3, the NIA took over the case from the police and announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for any information regarding the two accused.

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PM Modi, President Murmu pay tribute to Jallianwala Bagh massacre victims

On the anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre PM Modi, President Murmu paid tribute to those who were killed in the incident.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today paid tribute to the victims of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. In Punjab’s Amritsar on April 13, 1919, hundreds of nonviolent protestors were shot at random by British forces.

Taking to social media X, formerly Twitter, PM Modi said, on behalf of the entire country, he pays his deepest respects to all the brave martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

President Droupadi Murmu also paid respects to those who gave their lives in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre for the sake of the country as she said that their martyrdom will continue to inspire future generations. 

The President said on X, she pays tribute  to all the freedom fighters at Jallianwala Bagh who gave their all for the country. The people of this country will always be grateful to all the wonderful people who gave their life in support of Swaraj, she added. The president wrote in Hindi on X that she is confident that the spirit of patriotism of those martyrs will always inspire the coming generations.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, said, Jallianwala Bagh is a living symbol of the cruelty and inhumanity of the British rule

Tribute to the valiant martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh who made an invaluable contribution to the country’s freedom movement, he wrote on X in Hindi.

Shah continued saying, a living example of the brutality and inhumanity of British rule is Jallianwala Bagh. This massacre ignited the revolutionary fire that had been dormant in the hearts of the people, turning the independence movement into a popular battle. He said, the lives of the dignified people of Jallianwala Bagh serve as a constant source of inspiration for selflessness and devotion to the country first.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed gratitude for the martyrs’ extraordinary bravery and selflessness.

He wrote on X, remembering the martyrs who were killed on this day in 1919 in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar. I honor their extraordinary bravery and selflessness. He also said their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

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Tejashwi Yadav releases RJD’s manifesto, promises airports in 5 Bihar cities

Tejashwi Yadav said his party is making 24 promises to the people of the nation and Bihar.

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Former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav unveiled the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Lok Sabha election manifesto on Saturday morning, pledging the construction of five new airports in the state. Along with releasing Parivartan Patra, the political heir and son of RJD founder Lalu Yadav pledged Rs1 lakh annually to sisters from low-income families on Raksha Bandhan.

In the presence of senior RJD leaders, Tejashwi Yadav unveiled the document and said that his party had committed 24 commitments to both the national and Bihar citizen.

He said, they have released Parivartan Patra available. Twenty-four jan vachan (public promises) have been brought up for 2024. These 24 jan vachan are our promises, which we will keep, the speaker said.

Tejashwi Yadav said that his party will see to it that five new airports are built in Bihar to improve connectivity, should the INDIA bloc secure a majority at the Centre.

For better connectivity in Bihar, they are going to build 5 new airports in the state, in Purnea, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj and Raxaul, he said. Yadav also pledged to give Bihar special status. They will implement OPS (Old Pension Scheme) and we will provide special status to Bihar, he said. The former deputy CM promised to eradicate unemployment in the nation.

People will begin to be released from unemployment on August 15th. The process of providing jobs will begin on August 15th, if their government is elected, he stated.

Every year on Raksha Bandhan, they will provide their sisters who live in poor families with Rs 1 lakh. Gas cylinders would be available for Rs 500, he continued.

The RJD leader assured young people all over the nation of one crore jobs.

He further said, One crore youth across the country will receive government jobs if our INDIA alliance is elected to power. Our greatest opponent right now is unemployment, yet the BJP did not discuss this. Although they had pledged to provide 2 crore jobs, we carry out our word, he said.

On April 19, voting will start for the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections. On June 4, there will be a counting.


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