Mining baron Sekhar Reddy arrested after Income Tax raids

Sand miner Shekar Reddy has been arrested, two weeks after the seizure of crores of rupees and gold in an income tax raid. The arrest has come hours after Income Tax officials conducted a raid on Tamil Nadu’s top bureaucrat chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao at his home. It was speculated that Rao’s home was raided on the basis of information obtained from the earlier raid. Income Tax raids has unearthed Rs 130 crore in cash including Rs 34 crore in new currencies and 177 kg of gold from…

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Demonetization: RBI removes ‘explanation’ requirement for KYC accounts

The Reserve Bank of India has responded to widespread criticism of its directive to collect ‘explanations’ from those depositing more than Rs 5000 by clarifying that this directive will not apply to bank accounts with proper documentation. “On a review of the above, we advise that the provisions of the above circular at sub para (i) and (ii) will not apply to fully KYC compliant accounts,” it said. The move comes after people expressed displeasure over the earlier rule that required them to furnish an ‘explanation’ in front of the…

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Demonetization: Modi announces bumper prizes; 15 lakh users to get 1,000 rupees

Narendra Modi announced several ‘prize schemes’ to promote cashless transactions. Under the schemes announced today, there will be two sets of prizes for consumers and another for small merchants. Under the first scheme, any customer who uses any electronic form of payment, including wallets and debit cards, will qualify for a ‘lucky draw’ of Rs 1,000 each. 15,000 such prizes — each amounting to Rs 1,000 — will be given out per day. This will be continued for a period of 100 days. This will start on Dec 25. In…

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Demonetizaton: Govt places limits on last minute deposits

The Reserve Bank of India said that any person who continues to hold old notes of 500 and 1000 rupees in bulk will get only one more chance to deposit them into bank accounts and will also have to provide an explanation for the delayed deposit. “Tenders of SBNs in excess of ₹ 5000 into a bank account will be received for credit only once during the remaining period till December 30, 2016. The credit in such cases shall be afforded only after questioning tenderer, on record, in the presence…

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Demonetization: Swaraj India says political parties could become money laundering centers

Swaraj India party today said the Income Tax department’s decision to continue to provide immunity to political parties from having to reveal their sources could turn them into money laundering centers. According to Section 13(A) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, if you have registered a political party, you can deposit any amount of money after opening an account in that party’s name. Swaraj India, which will organize a rally against black money in Delhi on Sunday, said the loophole for parties should have been plugged before or along with…

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DEMONETIZATION: Wholesale Price Inflation falls to 3.15% in November

The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 3.15% for the month of November, 2016 as compared to 3.39% for the previous month and -2.04% during the corresponding month of the previous year. The fall is largely expected due to the impact of the withdrawal of high-denomination currencies during the month. Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 4.45% compared to a build up rate of 0.80% in the corresponding period of the previous year. It was widely expected that the prices of…

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Domino’s Pizza starts cashless facility for phone orders

Domino’s Pizza has started cashless payment facility for those who order by phone as well. “Post demonetization, we have seen many customers choosing to order online. Consumers coming to our restaurants to dine in or carry out are able to pay With Credit caras or Wassets. However, there are many customers who still order with a phone. It is for these customers that we have introduced this cashless service,” said Dev Amritesh, President & Chief Business Officer, Domino’s Pizza India. Domino’s is India’s largest Pizza brand, and runs 1085 Pizza…

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Modi says people who deposited others’ money may get to keep it all

Opening a new front in the fight against black money, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said people who were forced or tricked into depositing other people’s money into their bank accounts may be allowed to keep the entire sum for themselves. “Do not touch that money,” Modi said, addressing a rally in UP. “I am exercising my brain to come up with a plan to send the person who deposited their money into your account to jail and the money to you.” According to anecdotal evidence, many people with funds that they…

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Petrol Pumps, Airlines Will Not Take Old Notes From Saturday | DEMONETIZATION

Old notes will no longer be accepted at petrol pumps and airline ticket counters starting from Saturday, according to sources. So far, petrol pumps and airlines had been given an exemption from demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupee notes. However, in an effort to control the widespread ‘whitening’ of black money, the government is gearing up to plug any remaining loopholes for criminal elements. With this, only mobile recharge shops and some state governments will continue to accept old notes for payments. WIDESPREAD MISUSE Despite the government’s best efforts, a…

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BJP asks all MPs, MLAs to submit bank statement to party

As part of the ongoing crackdown on tax evasion and illicit funds, the Bharatiya Janata Party has asked all its MPs and MLAs to submit the full details of their banking transactions from Nov 8 onwards. The central leadership of the party will examine the bank statements of these representatives to check for any illegal or suspicious cash transactions. On Nov 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that all cash holding in existing 500 and 1000 rupee denominations are being made invalid and had to be exchanged in banks. This…

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7 ILLOGICAL REASONS to oppose DEMONETIZATION

The current demonetization move by the Narendra Modi government has seen a lot of accusations and counter-accusations being levelled by both the supporters and opponents of the move. While the government has tried to deal head on with the official accusations levelled by opposition political parties, a much more subtle misinformation campaign is going on on social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook against the campaign. Such campaigns are started and fanned by people who stand to lose from the current crack down on illicit funds — such as corrupt…

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DEMONETIZATION: How some earned lakhs standing in queues

The government has banned over-the-counter exchange of old 500- and 1000-rupee notes due to suspected gaming of the system by those with black money. According to banking industry sources, the over-the-counter exchange system was being massively misused by hawala operators and others who had illegal funds to convert their old currency into new notes. “The system was so sophisticated that people who had 10 or 20 lakhs of black money could get it converted within one or two days,” said a bank manager. MANIPULATION The modus operandi was simple. A single…

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Despite Demonetization, India will beat China in GDP growth: Fitch Ratings

Despite a moderation in India’s GDP growth rate in the short term due to cash crunch, the Indian economy will still grow faster than that of China, global ratings agency Fitch said. “We still expect India’s GDP growth to trend higher than China’s in the medium term,” said the agency, whose primary job is to advice bond buyers on risks involved in buying debt from countries and corporations. It said India will see a slight decline in GDP growth rate in the year ending March 2017, but will bounce back…

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FULL TEXT: Ratan Tata’s statement on Demonetization

Ratan Tata, one of the most respected business figures in India and the chairman of Tata Trusts, has drawn attention to the practical difficulties faced by ordinary citizens in dealing with the ongoing currency exchange program. Tata, who was one of the first business leaders to extend a hand of friendship to Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, said the government should think of special measures, especially for those facing hardship in getting medical help. Though the government has asked hospitals not to refuse old 500…

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FULL TEXT: Ratan Tata’s statement on Demonetization

Ratan Tata, one of the most respected business figures in India and the chairman of Tata Trusts, has drawn attention to the practical difficulties faced by ordinary citizens in dealing with the ongoing currency exchange program. Tata, who was one of the first business leaders to extend a hand of friendship to Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, said the government should think of special measures, especially for those facing hardship in getting medical help. Though the government has asked hospitals not to refuse old 500…

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Rahul Gandhi seeks Parliamentary probe into ‘leak of information’ ahead of demonetization

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi dismissed charges that the opposition was not speaking in one voice on demonetization and said the entire opposition is united in their demands. Asked whether the opposition parties wanted a roll-back, Gandhi said there were only two demands — one that Modi should speak in Parliament, and the secondly that there should an inquiry by a joint parliamentary committee on whether information about the demonetization move was leaked ahead of the action. “The finance minister was not aware of the move in advance, but those…

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82,000 ATMs recalibrated out of nearly 2 lakh so far

Banks have recalibrated 82,000 out of a little over 2 lakh ATMs in the country, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das. “It will be only a matter of a few days (more) till all the ATMs are recalibrated,” Das said. To ease cash supply to the agricultural sector, a total of Rs 21,000 cr of new currency has been sanctioned for district cooperative banks, he added. Cooperative banks, which are alleged to be widely misused by black money holders, were so far required to have their cash exchanges done via commercial…

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Fitch says demonetization gains may not last

Fitch Ratings said the positive effects are unlikely to be strong and sufficiently enduring “to support credit profiles” and will impact GDP growth in the current quarter. Though the gains will be substantial in the short-term, they may not last as people may still go back to their old ways after a while. It said the move has the potential to raise government revenue and encourage bank lending. “India’s sovereign credit profile would benefit from an improvement in government finances, which currently stand out as a major weakness. However, there…

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Modi Govt to give ‘cashback’ on black money destroyed?

He may not be able to deliver the Rs 15 lakhs, but according to a media report, Narendra Modi’s government is thinking of transferring at least part of the black money destroyed through demonetization to Jan Dhan account holders. Jan Dhan accounts were opened in 2014 by economically weaker sections of the population who did not have any bank accounts at the time. However, many of the Jan Dhan accounts, which did not have any balance in them, have seen deposits of up to Rs 49,000 in the last one…

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