Supreme Court to consider banning charge-sheeted candidates from polls

The Supreme Court has today agreed to hear a petition that seeks to ban anyone who has been charge-sheeted in a criminal case from contesting elections in India. BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, who is among one of the most prolific filers of public interest litigation in India, is among those who had filed such petitions seeking disqualification of such candidates in elections. The petitioners alleged that the current law — which prohibits only convicted people from standing for elections — is being misused by criminal politicians. Charge sheets are filed…

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COLUMN: Why it’s hypocritical for Rahul Gandhi to accuse Narendra Modi of taking money from corporates

One of the interesting aspects of the current accusations and counter accusations around the alleged funding of BJP’s 2014 Lok Sabha campaign by corporate houses is the sheer hypocrisy of it. Let’s see why. According to third-party figures, an estimated Rs 23,000 cr was spent by candidates and political parties on the 2014 general election. Assuming that about 40% of this was spent by the BJP and its candidates, the saffron party’s tally comes to around Rs 9,200. The Indian National Congress and its candidates are likely to have spent about Rs…

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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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Rahul Gandhi’s gives ‘earthquake evidence’ on Modi

After keeping the nation waiting for 10 days, Rahul Gandhi today dropped his ‘bomb’ on Narendra Modi that he had promised would ’cause an earthquake’. Gandhi said a company based in Uttar Pradesh has written “that Modi has taken money from them multiple times over six months.” Quoting income tax investigation reports, Gandhi said: “They have written that 2.5 cr was given to Narendra Modi on October 31… nine times in six months.” However, the Congress Vice President’s allegations around big corporates paying Prime Minister Narendra Modi crores of rupees…

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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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UPA-era procurement delays kept us back – BSNL CMD

BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava blamed delays in procuring key equipment for the present backward condition of the state-owned telecom operator. The company, which was once profitable and dominated India’s telecom sector, has run up huge losses in the last several years, while private telecom companies have reaped tens of thousands of crores in profit during the same period. BSNL reported a loss of Rs 3,803 cr for the year ended March 2016, taking its total loss to over Rs 47,000 cr. In the previous year, it had…

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BSNL JE 2016 recruitment frozen after complaints to DoT – CMD Shrivastava

BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said the recruitment of Junior Engineers (JEs) into the telecom company has been frozen by the Department of Telecom on the basis of complaints. “It is being held up by the Department of Telecom… due to complaints,” Shrivastava said in response to questions by candidates who have qualified in the exams conducted in September 2016. Asked if any of the candidates may be deleted from the merit list, Shrivastava indicated it is too early to say. “Complaints are under investigation,” he said. A…

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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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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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Minister refuses to answer Parliament on amendment to anti-corruption bill

The ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions has refused to provide an answer to the Parliament on whether the proposed amendment to the Prevention of Corruption Act will make investigation of corruption charges against officials difficult. The ministry — which oversees all administrative matters relating to central government employees — has reportedly formulated an amendment which makes approval from the Central and State Governments mandatory for the investigative agencies prior to investigation against the serving and retired bureaucrats. Such amendments have been repeatedly struck down by the Supreme Court…

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Praful Patel says Modi has made it difficult to fight elections

Nationalist Congress Party leader Praful Patel said political parties are facing a lot of problems in fighting elections due to the ongoing crack-down on cash by Narendra Modi government. “You know what is going on with fighting elections.. you have also been a treasurer,” Patel said in the Rajya Sabha today, looking at a fellow MP. “There is no point is pretending that we don’t know.. we are all aware of the problems,” Patel said, adding that political funding should be rectified to resolve the problem related to cash financing…

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Demonetization: Average deposit size is Rs 46,000

The average deposit size for people putting their money into banks under the cash demonetization drive is Rs 45,811, according to the data released by State Bank of India. A total of 76,000 cr has been deposited via SBI branches, and close to another 3 lakh cr has been deposited via other banks. QUESTIONS The numbers raise the uncomfortable question of why people are rushing to the banks on the first two to three days with lakhs of rupees and overloading the system. It can’t be because they need immediate…

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CURRENCY SWAP: 1 lakh cr done, 13 lakh cr to go?

The country’s biggest bank State Bank of India saw nearly Rs 40,000 cr deposited by the public in its branches in the first two days of the ongoing currency swap. A total of Rs 1,666 cr worth of notes were exchanged. Under the ongoing currency swap, bank customers can get up to Rs 4,000 worth of new currency notes in exchange for old currency from banks and post offices. Any extra money they need to convert has to be deposited. Once deposited, they can withdraw Rs 20,000 over two days….

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Income Tax Dept website now shows your bank accounts with cash transactions

Thanks to technology, the Income Tax department is now able to track all your bank accounts in all the banks in India, and show you the details on its website. The details of your accounts can be seen on incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in — the portal used to file your income tax returns. As of now, only those accounts which have substantial cash transactions are listed on the portal. This is helpful to avoid fraud in the context of the ongoing crackdown on black money. In other words, if someone else has opened…

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Income Tax Dept conducts multiple raids across India

With money tied up in banks, the Income Tax department has conducted multiple raids across the country to find undeclared income. The raids were conducted in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and other cities. The raids are being conducted to unearth undeclared cash, according to sources. It is believed that the Income Tax dept was able to flush out some illegal money in the last 24 hours. People with undeclared income have been making enquiries about what to do with their funds ever since Narendra Modi announced a new currency replacement program…

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Currency Trap: IT Dept moves in on cooperative banks

With bank withdrawals restricted, the Income Tax Department seems to be taking the opportunity to move in on a long-time target of tax evasion investigators — co-operative banks. Several co-operative banks in Kerala have got Income Tax Department notices seeking details of deposits. It is not known if banks in other states have also got similar notices. Unlike mainstream banks, co-operative banks — mostly controlled by local politicians — have lax KYC requirements and often don’t ask for tax-related details such as PAN cards. This has led to these banks being used…

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