Shivpal Yadav in Akhilesh’s list, but SP alliance with Cong hits roadblock

Talks for a Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance have failed, a senior SP leader said on Friday, indicating
differences between the two over sharing of seats for the seven-phase assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh
starting early next month.

The sharp divisions were evident when the SP released a list of 191 candidates that included several seats
held by the Congress and those falling in Amethi and Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituencies, the pocket
boroughs of the Nehru-Gandhi family.

An angry Congress summoned an emergency meeting of its senior central and state’s leaders in Delhi
and called back UP chief Raj Babbar who had landed in Lucknow to announce an alliance. The meeting is
being held at the party’s war room at 15, Gurudwara Rakabganj Road.

The 191 seats are among 209 constituencies going to the polls in the first three phases starting February
11.

The list also includes party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brother Shivpal, who was locked in a bitter
power struggle with chief minister Akhilesh Yadav till a few days ago.

SP vice president Kironmoy Nanda said negotiations with the Congress on seat-sharing have “failed”.

“We offered them 54 (seats) and were willing to concede 25 more but have not got any response from
the Congress so far. The Congress is not coming to the negotiating table now.”

The SP was not unwilling to concede Amethi or Lucknow Cantonment to the Congress. “But at the same
time, the doors were still open for negotiations…the party will withdraw its candidates on seats where
Congress has sitting MLAs,” he added. The party has named Mulayam’s younger daughter-in-law
Aparna Yadav from Lucknow Cantt.

However, SP parliamentarian Naresh Agarwal described Nanda’s comments as “his personal opinion”.

“SP national president Akhilesh Yadav to take final decision,” ANI quoted Agarwal as saying.

Raj Babbar said any alliance “should be done taking the pride of workers into care”.

“Talks are on for alliance, no obstruction so far,” he added.

The SP had on Thursday ruled out an alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which was earlier
tipped to the third partner in the conglomeration for the seven-phase polls in the politically crucial state.

Besides Shivpal Yadav from Jaswant Nagar, the SP has also named minister Azam Khan’s son Abdullah
from Swar. MP Naresh Agarwal’s son Nitin will contest from Hardoi.

Other loyalists of Mulayam and Shivpal also figure in the list which hs 51 Muslim candidates.

Congress-held seats for which the SP has name candidates include Shamli, Mathura, Deoband and
Bulandshahr.

UP Congress legislature party leader Pradeep Mathur, who represents Mathura, said he will file his
nomination his the constituency.

Deoband MLA Mawiya Ali, who quit the Congress recently, has been named the SP candidate from the
same constituency.

The list has several young candidates and new faces, seen as Akhilesh Yadav protégées who have been
speaking about grooming a new generation of leaders in a party dominated by veterans.

On Thursday, an SP leader from western UP, Shahnawaz Rana, who was the party nominee from
Muzaffarnagar, joined the Congress. A former MLA from Merapur, Rana wields considerable clout in the
region and can give a tough fight even as an independent candidate, sources said.
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Manmohan Singh saves Urjit Patel from answering uncomfortable queries on demonetisation

NEW DELHI: Amid heated and often partisan politics over demonetisation, former PM Manmohan Singh
came to the rescue of embattled RBI governor Urjit Patel on Wednesday, saying Patel need not respond
to a query whether banking restrictions were not being lifted as this would result in a run on banks.

Singh pointedly intervened during a meeting of the standing committee on finance when Congress MP
Digvijaya Singh suggested that Patel was not clearly answering a question on withdrawal of restrictions
as he would have to admit that removal of restraints would result in chaos. "You need not answer that
question," Singh told Patel, ending the line of inquiry and MPs did not press the governor on the issue,
perhaps in deference to Singh's standing and experience as a former central bank governor himself.

The sequence of events saw BJP MP Nishikant Dubey posing two questions on "behalf " of Digvijaya
Singh as the meeting was drawing to a close on how much money had been deposited by De cember 30
and when restrictions would be removed.

Coming from a strong critic of demonetisation -Singh has described the measure as monumental
mismanagement and organised loot -the remarks ensured a more sedate discussion than might have been
the case. Senior Congress member and panel chair Veerappa Moily urged members ahead of Patel's
appearance that the institution of RBI and the governor's status be respected and honoured. "Questions
should be put politely ," Moily said. He said the committee had been functioning in a nonpartisan manner
and he hoped this would continue. He said officials should not be pressed on points that they did not
have clarity .

Sources said comments by the two senior Congress leaders defused political tension that could have
been reflected in the committee's proceedings, particularly in the midst of electioneering where
demonetisation is a key issue.

The query on banking restrictions, in the context of the Rs 24,000 per week and the earlier Rs 2,500
daily limit on ATM withdrawals, suggested that without such restric tions, banks would have witnessed
chaos. Later, Patel explained that the average per savings account withdrawal was between Rs 12-
13,000 prior to demonetisation. A tougher tenor adopted by members like Digvijaya with regard to Patel's
responses was blunted when Moily observed that witnesses who appeared before the committee could
not be forced to answer questions.

There was some frustration over Patel and senior finance ministry officials who briefed the committee
before the RBI governor met the panel not providing specific answers, considerable time was consumed
by members posing questions. Sources said since members were not restricted to asking a certain
number of questions, some went on for a while, consuming the panel's time. The members asked several
questions that will be answered in detail later.
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After winning 'cycle' symbol, Akhilesh Yadav meets Mulayam Singh

LUCKNOW: Dealing a severe blow to Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Election
Commission on Monday gave the symbol 'bicycle' to the faction+ headed by Akhilesh Yadav, that came
as a major boost to the chief minister ahead of assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh+ .

The EC also recognized Akhilesh Yadav-led faction as the real Samajwadi Party.

A mere look at the figures of supporting MLAs, MLCs and MPs, national executive members and
national convention delegates "will evidently demonstrate that Shri Akhilesh Yadav enjoys overwhelming
majority support, both among the organisational and legislative wing of the party", the EC said in its order
that was reserved on Friday.

The verdict by the three-member Election Commission headed by Nasim Zaidi came on the eve of the
filing of nominations when parties will have to give the requisite forms authorising use of symbol to
contest the elections.

The EC had reserved the order on January 13 after hearing both the sides for over five hours.

"As a logical consequence of the above finding and applying the test of majority approved by the
Supreme Court in the case of Sadiq Ali and consistently applied by the Commission thereafter in all cases
of disputes in recognised political parties arising before it from time to time for determination in terms of
para 15 of the Symbols Order, the Commission hereby answers the issue number 2 by holding that the
group led by Shri Akhilesh Yadav is the Samajwadi Party and is entitled to use its name and its reserved
symbol 'bicycle' for the purposes of Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment Order, 1968)," the EC
said in its 46-page order.

The commission noted that Akhilesh's faction had filed the affidavits of 205 of the 228 MLAs, 56 out of
68 MLCs, 15 out of 24 MPs, 28 out of 46 National Executive members and 4400 out of 5731 National
Convention delegates which accounted for total delegates of 4716 out of 5731.

The order said Mulayam Singh's side did not file any affidavit of MPs or MLAs or any delegates claiming
allegiance to it with the SP supremo maintaining that there was no split in the party needing determination
of a dispute.
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PM Modi a better brand than Gandhi: Haryana minister

CHANDIGARH/NEW DELHI: Haryana minister Anil Vij kicked up a storm on Saturday by saying that
Mahatma Gandhi's image was "responsible" for the rupee's devaluation over the years and Narendra Modi
is a "better brand", drawing flak from various quarters and prompting an embarrassed BJP to disown the
remark.

No stranger to controversy, Vij said in a tweet that "ever since Gandhi's image has been on the rupee, it
has devalued", even as he welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pictures on the calendar of the
Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in place of Gandhi.

The Haryana health minister said, "It's good that Modi's photo replaced Gandhi's in the calendar. Modi is
a better brand name. Jab se khadi ke saath Gandhi ka naam juda hai, khadi uth nahi saki.

Khadi doob gayi (From the time Gandhi's name has been associated with khadi, it has never been able to
rise)."

BJP promptly condemned Anil Vij's remark, saying it has always followed Gandhi's ideals. "The party
doesn't associate itself with his (Vij's) remarks. These are his personal comments.

We condemn them," BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma said.

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar too distanced himself saying, "What one says in his personal
capacity is not linked with the party." Hours later, the minister himself tweeted, "My statement in
connection with Mahatma Gandhi was given in a personal capacity. To avoid anyone's sentiments, I am
withdrawing it".

Sharma said Gandhi is an icon for BJP and that Congress had no moral right to speak of Gandhi's legacy
as it had only misused his name.

It's the BJP government under Modi which has promoted the Gandhian philosophies of "khadi and
swachhata", Sharma said.

Khattar said it was the poor policies of Congress that hurt khadi and not Gandhi. "As far as the PM's
photo (on KVIC calendar) is concerned, it was not intended to disrespect anyone. Khadi will continue to
be identified with Mahatma Gandhi," he said.

The Haryana Pradesh Congress filed a criminal complaint against Vij at a police station in Karnal.
..........................................................................................................................................................................................
Sidhu meets Rahul Gandhi, likely to join Congress on Saturday

New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday announced its third list of candidates for the Punjab Assembly
elections. After this list, the total number of candidates announced have reached 100 in the 117-member
Punjab Assembly. The remaining 17 will be announced in a day or two. It also includes Amritsar East
which has been kept for the Sidhu family. As the list was announced, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot
Singh Sidhu met Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and the meeting between the two leaders lasted
for almost forty-five minutes.

Mr Sidhu is expected to formally join the Congress anytime now. He has asked for the deputy chief
minister’s post, the Congress, till now, has not agreed to it but has asked him to come on board. Punjab
Congress chief Capt. Amarinder Singh said, “Mr Sidhu is joining the party unconditionally.” His wife,
Navjot Kaur Sidhu, has already joined the Congress, along with former hockey player Pargat Singh, a
former Akali Dal legislator.

The former BJP MP is expected to play a crucial role in Punjab which goes to poll on February 4.
Sources say Mr Sidhu is likely to contest from the Amritsar East Assembly constituency which, at
present, is represented by his wife. Since Amritsar parliamentary constituency has fallen vacant after the
resignation of Capt. Amarinder Singh, Mr Sidhu wants his wife to contest polls from that seat. How-
ever, a final decision on this is yet to be taken by the Congress high command.

Earlier, Mr Sidhu, his wife, Bains brothers and former Hockey player Pargat Singh had formed a front
known as Aawaz-e-Punjab.

They were in talks with the Aam Aadmi Party for an alliance which did not fructify. So the Bains
brothers joined the AAP and rest of them are with the Congress now.

Since the Congress desperately needs to win it is on a charm offensive to have the best faces on its side
when Punjab goes to polls on 4 February this year
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Demonetization: Govt 'advised' RBI on November 7, board approved it next day

Contrary to popular belief, it was the Government which had "advised" the Reserve Bank to junk Rs
500/1000 notes on November 7 and the board of the central bank the very next day recommended the
demonetization.

In a 7-page note to the Parliament's Department-Related Committee of Finance headed by Congress
leader M Veerappa Moily, the RBI stated that the Government had on November 7, 2016 "advised the
Reserve Bank that to mitigate the triple problems of counterfeiting, terrorist financing and black money,
the Central Board of the Reserve Bank may consider withdrawal of the legal tender status of the notes in
high denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000."

The RBI's Central Board met the very next day to "consider the Government's advice," and after
"deliberations," decided to "recommend to Central Government that the legal tender status of the
banknotes in the high denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 be withdrawn." Union Cabinet headed by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met within hours of that recommendation on November 8 and banned
circulation of old 500 and 1000 rupee notes.

Some ministers have thus far maintained that the government had only acted on RBI recommendation of
demonetization. In the note to the panel, RBI said it had been in the last few years working on
introduction of new series of banknotes with improved security features to secure them against
counterfeiting. In parallel, the government had been taking steps to curb black money and combat
terrorism.

"There were reports by intelligence and enforcement agencies that availability of high denomination
banknotes made it easier for black money hoarders and counterfeited notes in high denominations were
being used for terrorist financing," RBI said.

"It occurred to Government of India and the Reserve Bank that the introduction of new series of notes
could provide a very rare and profound opportunity to tackle all the three problems of counterfeiting,
terrorist financing and black money by demonetizing the banknotes in high denominations of Rs 500 and
Rs 1000 or by withdrawing legal tender status of such banknotes... "Though no firm decision was taken
initially, whether to demonetize or not, preparations still went on for introduction of new series notes, as
that was needed in any case," the note said.
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Government to launch skill development programme for youngsters

BENGALURU: At the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced
a new programme to upgrade the skill sets of youngsters in the country who intend to seek employment
abroad.

In a speech, which was only interrupted by rapturous applause and "Jai Modi" cheers, the Prime Minister
announced government's intention to launch the Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana.

Stating the reasons for starting the programme, PM Modi explained that sometimes youngsters who are
not educated struggle to settle abroad in their jobs due to the mismatch in the skill set required in those
nations and their education.

"But if these youngsters are trained for 15 to 30 days, as per the requirement of skill sets in countries
where they seek employment, like that for a housekeeping job, then the same set of youngsters will go
with much more confidence," the PM said.

He said the programme will be a value added service for the youngsters who will be heading abroad.

The scheme will be of help mostly to the poor sections of society who opt for small jobs overseas.

"Youngsters will be taught country-specific requirements, be it a few sentences, a few mannerisms or
the cultural aspects. We are trying to ensure that with these programmes the Indians can immediately
assimilate in the countries where they are headed and make themselves endearing to the locals by using
these soft skills," said the PM.
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Samajwadi Party feud: Shivpal Yadav meets Akhilesh

LUCKNOW: In their first one-to-one meeting since the vertical split in Samajwadi Party+ , Shivpal Yadav
on Friday held talks with defiant nephew Akhilesh at his residence here on a "compromise formula" for a
possible patch-up.
Party insiders were tight-lipped on what transpired at the brief meeting Shivpal had with chief minister
Akhilesh. Shivpal later met his brother Mulayam Singh Yadav as well.
However, sources privy to the fast-paced developments did not rule out the possibility of resignation of
Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, the "outsider" whose return to SP triggered a storm in the ruling party in
Uttar Pradesh, under a "compromise formula".

Another possibility could be resignation of Shivpal from the post of state SP chief, a charge held by the
chief minister+ before the current family feud broke out.
It was the first meeting between Akhilesh and Shivpal since the chief minister donned the mantle of SP
chief replacing his father Mulayam.

An inkling of a patch-up came late last night when Akhilesh planned to go to the airport here to receive
his father, but dropped the idea when he came to know that Amar Singh was accompanying him in the
chartered flight.

Soon after Mulayam's return from Delhi, his apolitical brothers Abhayram Yadav and Rajpal Yadav met
him apparently to end the strife in the family.

During a meeting with SP MLAs, MLCs, MPs and senior leaders to collect their signed affidavits for
submission before the EC, Akhilesh had on Thursday asked his father to give him Samajwadi Party's
control for three months.
The meetings Shivpal had with Akhilesh and later with Mulayam this morning reflected hectic behind-the-
scene negotiations as the Akhilesh camp prepared to hand over documents to the EC to claim that it was
the "real" SP.

Leader of the Akhilesh camp Ramgopal Yadav claimed they have collected signatures of 212 of the 229
MLAs, 56 of the 68 MLCs, 15 of the 24 MPs and a majority of the 5,000 delegates, "making it crystal
clear as to which was the real SP".
..........................................................................................................................................................................................
Election commission announces poll dates for 5 states

The Election Commission today announced the dates and phases of elections for five states—Uttar
Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa.

In an announcement made by Chief Election Commission of India Nasim Zaidi,Goa to go to polls on
February 4, Punjab also to go to polls on February 4. Assembly elections for 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh
will be held in seven phases.

He further added that,Assembly elections in Uttarakhand to be held on February 15. Manipur will go to
polls in two phases on March 4 and March 8. First phase of UP Assembly polls on February 11; Phase II
on Feb 15: CEC.

Phase III of UP Assembly polls on Feb 19; Phase IV on Feb 23, Phase V on Feb 27, Phase VI on March
4 and last phase on March 8. Counting for all states going to Assembly polls to be held on March 11. EC
examining representation of some political parties on presentation of Union Budget during poll process;
will take a view soon.

Deputy Election Commissioner Vijay Kumar Dev has directed the authorities in the western Uttar Pradesh
districts to keep strict vigil and surveillance in order to thwart any untoward incident in the upcoming
state Assembly polls. While addressing a meeting of senior police and administration officials of the
region in Meerut yesterday, Dev asked the authorities in Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Meerut, Ghaziabad,
Saharanpur, Baghpat, Bulandshahr, Noida and Hapur to share the list with the Election Commission of
proclaimed offenders and history-sheeters.

The directions were given keeping in view the security and to prevent criminals indulge in any
malpractices during the polls.Special barriers would be put up at the state borders to check vehicles
entering from neighbouring Delhi, Haryana and Uttarakhand. This will include barricading on the Delhi-
Dehradun and the Panipat-Khatima highway. Dev also asked the jail authorities in the concerned to
provide a list of gangsters lodged in their respective jails. In Muzzaffarnagar district jails, a total of 478
criminals are lodged under the Gangster Act.
..................................................................................................................................................................
War over 'cycle' symbol intensifies, Ram Gopal reaches EC

The ongoing tussle between the two factions of Uttar Pradesh's ruling Samajwadi Party has witnessed
another round of sackings amid a bitter power struggle in state's famous Yadav clan that has pushed it to
the brink of a split.

In a big twist in the Yadav family feud,  sources close to embattled party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on
Tuesday said that his argument to claim the party symbol 'cycle' is strong as he had only followed the
party constitution and had the sole right to call the national convention.

While Mulayam faction had approached the Election Commission on Monday, the Akhilesh Yadav faction
will do the same on Tuesday.

News agency ANI said that sources close to Mulayam Singh claimed that the disqualification of Akhilesh
and his uncle Ram Gopal Yadav was never taken back on papers.

They claimed that revoking the disqualification was conditional and it was decided that they won't
conduct the national convention. According to the party's constitution, only the president has the rights
to call the convention and not the disqualified members.
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SP splits again, Akhilesh takes control

Samajwadi Party today split with rival factions carrying out mutual expulsions as Chief Minister Akhilesh
Yadav sought to take control of the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh.

In dramatic developments, Akhilesh was “unanimously” crowned the SP president and his warring uncle
Shivpal Yadav removed as State party chief at a national convention called by Ram Gopal Yadav, where
the CM’s faction claimed that over 200 of the party’s 229 MLAs, around 30 MLCs, besides majority of
office bearers of district units were present.

Ram Gopal also moved a proposal to make Mulayam Singh, the founder president of the party, as party
patron while “outsider” Amar Singh was expelled from the party.

The proposal to make Akhilesh SP chief was welcomed by a huge applause by nearly 5,000 partymen
who had gathered at the sprawling Janeshwar Misra Park here.

Mulayam soon struck back expelling his cousin Ram Gopal from the party for six years and termed as
illegal all decisions taken at the convention.

In a hard-hitting letter, he said the convention had not been called with permission of the national
president and so all decisions, taken there were illegal.

Although Mulayam warned that participation in the convention will be taken as indiscipline and action will
be initiated against those attending it, almost all senior leaders who had been longtime associates of
Mulayam shared the dais with Ram Gopal and Akhilesh.

Addressing the convention, Akhilesh said he respected his father more than ever and that he would stand
against those conspiring against the party while Ramgopal attacked Shivpal for working in an “arbitrary”
manner, alleging tickets were being given to those who are not even members of the party.

The convention also authorised Akhilesh to constitute a national executive, Parliamentary board and
various state units, as required, and inform the Election Commission of the developments at the earliest.

The fresh developments which almost left both Mulayam and younger brother Shivpal isolated in the
party came a day after SP revoked the expulsion of Akhilesh and Ramgopal amid the running bitter turf
battle in the Yadav clan which threatens to affect its prospects in the upcoming Assembly election.

In more signs of defiance, Akhilesh appointed MLC Naresh Uttam as the new State president, replacing
Shivpal.

Mulayam retorted by expelling national vice president Kiranmoy Nanda and general secretary Naresh
Agarwal from the party for taking part in the convention.

Soon after the appointment of the new State unit president, supporters of Akhilesh laid siege to the State
SP headquarters here in the high security VIP zone and forcibly wrenched out the nameplate of Shivpal
to vent their ire.

Mulayam has also convened a national convention of the party on January 5 at the same venue here.

Earlier this morning as soon as the national convention got underway at the park, Mulayam issued a letter
declaring it “unconstitutional”.
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Opposition parties criticise Narendra Modi’s address

Opposition parties criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation with the Congress,
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee questioning his
credibility.

Kejriwal said that Modi sounds hollow now and argued people have stopped believing him. Banerjee
dismissed the address as a budget speech while Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said Modi
crossed limits of in-sensitiveness.


“We expected the prime minister to announce a comprehensive road map for revival of economy, but he
has failed,’’ Surjewala said.

“The country expected that the prime minister would announce lifting of restrictions on withdrawal of
money but the country is disappointed.so no deadline, only headline.’’ He added that the speech had
promises but no intent: “He speaks a lot, but no action.” Surjewala pointed out that the support for
pregnant women was part of the National Food Security Act.

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the Prime Minister raised sundry things that have
nothing to do with demonetisation. “What was the purpose of today’s speech? It is once again clear that
he is scared of answering questions. We had raised specific peoples’ questions which have not been
referred to,’’ he said.

“Nothing substantial has been addressed. This reads like a budget speech that should be read out by the
finance minister in Parliament. Tax proposals and allocations can only happen in Parliament and
announcing proposals like this on TV is meaningless.’’

Yechury wondered whether Modi did not know the amount of money that has come back into the
system or the total that has been put into the system after November 8. “Why is he scared of giving
those facts? What is there to hide? If all money has come in, has black money been made white and if
more has come in, has counterfeit currency also been absorbed and turned legitimate?’’

CPI leader D Raja said the Prime Minister, who has all along been saying that the people are happy, has
finally acknowledged their pain. “He has not told the country and the people what the government
achieved through demonetisation and how much black money and fake currency the government
unearthed,” he said.

“He has not uttered a word on black money stashed away in foreign banks. He has not uttered a word
about NPAs, willful default by corporate houses. He has announced a number of schemes which need
budgetary support. What (Finance Minister) Arun Jaitley is going to do we do not know. Prime Minister
has taken over part of Arun Jaitley’s job. He has announced schemes.’’
..................................................................................................................................................................
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Minimum Rs 10,000 fine for holding old notes, no jail term: Govt

Government has made holding of more than 10 junked Rs 500/1000 notes a penal offence punishable
with a minimum Rs 10,000 fine, but the harsher four-year jail term has been dropped. The Specified
Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance, approved yesterday by the Cabinet headed by Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, allows individuals to hold no more than 10 notes of the old currency.

It allows 25 such currencies to be held by research scholars. Top sources said the ordinance, which will
be sent to the President for his assent shortly, will come into effect from December 31.

It provides for making holding of old 1,000 and 500 rupee notes after March 31 a criminal offence that
will attract a fine of Rs 10,000 or five times the cash held, whichever is higher.
Cabinet Approves Ordinance To Penalise People Holding Banned Notes

Furnishing wrong information while depositing the old currency between January 1 and March 31 — a
window provided only for exigencies — will attract a fine of Rs 5,000 or five times the amount,
whichever is higher. The ordinance also provides for amending the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act to
provide legislative support for extinguishing the demonetised banknotes that are not returned.

The 50-day window for depositing the old notes in bank accounts and post offices expires tomorrow.
While the high-denomination currency ceased to be a legal tender from midnight of November 8, 2016, a
mere notification was not thought to be enough to end the central bank’s liability and avoid future
litigations.

Currency notes carry RBI’s promise to pay the bearer the amount of the value of the note, a pledge that
can be nullified only by legislation after giving due opportunity to everyone to return old notes. Sources
said the proposal for a four-year jail term for anyone possessing large number of demonetised currency
after March 31, 2017 was not approved.

The ordinance, which will have to be converted into proper legislation by passing of a law in Parliament
within six months, makes possession, transfer or receiving an amount of over Rs 10,000 in the now-
demonetised 500 and 1,000-rupee notes a punishable offence.

Sources said while the deadline for the deposit of old currency in bank or post office accounts expires
on Friday, time till March 31 is available for doing so at select RBI counters with stiff conditions. This
facility is for people who were abroad, armed forces personnel posted in remote areas or others who can
give valid reasons for not being able to deposit the cancelled notes at banks till December 30.

While announcing the demonetisation of the old currency on November 8, the government had allowed
holders to either exchange them or deposit in bank and post office accounts. In 1978, a similar
Ordinance was issued to end the government’s liability after Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 notes
were demonetised by the Morarji Desai-led government.

Sources said the legal amendments are needed every time the government decides to scrap any legal
tender to put an end to its promissory note. Of the Rs 15.4 lakh crore worth of currency that was
scrapped, about Rs 14 lakh crore has been deposited in banks or exchanged.
.........................................................................................................................................................
India needs lower taxes, higher compliance: Jaitley

The Finance Minister said he foresaw an India in the coming decades where voluntary compliance
increases.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said India needs lower taxes to compete globally and that
voluntary tax compliance by citizens should be encouraged by a friendly administration.

Mr. Jaitley was inaugurating professional training of the 68th batch of the Internal Revenue Service
officers at the National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics.

“We have lived through the last seven decades in India under the impression that if avoidance could be
done of government revenue, then there was nothing immoral about this. That was considered
commercial smartness,” he said.


“Payment of legitimate taxes is part of a citizen’s duty, and non-payment is visited with severe
consequences.”

According to the Minister, “extraordinarily high taxation rates in the past” had encouraged people to
evade taxes. “What you need is lower level of taxation, to provide services more competitive in nature.”

“Competition is not domestic, it is global. This is one important change you will witness while you will
be in service.”

Voluntary compliance


He said he foresaw an India where voluntary compliance increases. “Tax authorities are judged by the
quality of what they write or decide. The level of fairness followed by authorities will define the quality
of interpretation of tax laws by authorities. The voluntary compliance by citizens by payment of due
taxes needs to be reciprocated by authorities through a tax-friendly administration.”

Mr. Jaitley also told the trainees that tax officers should have high integrity.
..................................................................................................................................................................
Dishonest to face ruin after Dec. 30, says Modi

“I said there will be pain for 50 days (after demonetisation announcement),” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday warned of ruin for the dishonest after the expiry of
December 30 deadline for depositing scrapped currency and said they should not underestimate the
mood of the country against corruption.

“Dishonest people, you should not underestimate the mood of 125 crore people. You will have to be
afraid of it... Time has come for ruin of dishonest people. This is a cleanliness campaign,” Mr. Modi said.

“After 50 days (from November 8), the troubles of honest people will start to reduce and the problems
of dishonest people will begin to increase,” Mr. Modi said.


The Prime Minister was addressing a gathering at MMRDA ground in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC)
here after laying foundation of various big ticket infrastructure projects.

“We took a big decision against black money and corruption on November 8 and 125 crore Indians
endured pain but did not stop supporting me. I want to assure people of the country that this battle won’t
end till we win it,” he said.

Hitting out at parties opposing demonetisation, he said, “this is not a simple battle. Those who have
consumed malai (cream) did not leave any stone unturned to foil this (demonetisation).”

“The corrupt have made all efforts to defeat the decision (demonetisation). They even thought of
managing bank officials to get their black money converted into white. And that’s how many of them got
caught,” he said.

“I said there will be pain for 50 days (after demonetisation announcement),” he said, adding people are
ready to bear the pain in the country’s interest.

“People have borne the troubles in the country’s interest and are willing to do so in future too,” the Prime
Minister said.

Mr. Modi alleged that those who benefited from corruption during the earlier regimes “in last 70 years”
did all they could to ensure the demonetisation move by him does not work.

“Those who are used to a certain type corrupt practices for last 70 years, will have to pay the price of
their acts,” he said.
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