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Demonetisation is world’s most elegant money laundering exercise: P Chidambaram

Former finance minister P Chidambaram launches a scathing attack on BJP by calling demonetisation as the world's most ?elegant? money laundering exercise.
P Chidambaram at Hotel Centre Point in Nagpur on Saturday (Photo by: Abhishek Thakare)

Former Finance Minister of India and Congress MP in Rajya Sabha P Chidambaram, while responding to Nation Nexts volley of questions at a media interaction today in Nagpur, said, A healthy majority of the people of this country have come to a conclusion that demonetisation was an utter failure. Chidambaram also came down heavily on the BJP government over the multi-crore defence procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from French aircraft builder and integrator ? Dassault. The senior leader, further stepping up the attack on the Modi government, accused the latter of ?ditching? the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) of plugging billionaire Anil Ambanis defence firm ? Reliance Defence Limited as the partner of Dassault for Rafale deal. With the political slugfest getting murkier by the day, Chidambaram even launched a scathing attack on the BJP by calling demonetisation in India as the world’s most ?elegant? money laundering exercise ever invented. Excerpts:

Instead of the debt-free state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which has been making aircraft for 70 years, the Modi government chose debt-ridden businessman Anil Ambanis Reliance Defence Limited, which was floated just few days before cracking the Rafale deal. Whats your opinion on the same? 

My question is – assuming that Dassault is free to choose its partner, why didn’t the government of India advise or persuade Dassault to choose HAL as its partner? The government of India must answer this question. Why did they ditch HAL and allowed Dassault to do the same?

 Rahul Gandhi said that just as demonetisation was implemented to help Modi’s ?crony capitalist friends, Rafale deal was done to benefit Anil Ambanis group. Whats your say on this

I don’t want to take names.

Congress has termed demonetisation as the biggest scam?

Let me explain. I was sitting in the Supreme Court when the attorney general stood up and said, Milords, we hope to get three to four lakh crore of black money via demonetisation, and the same money wouldn’t come back to the Reserve Bank of India. The RBI would invalidate the notes, and this would be a gain for the RBI. This gain would be transferred to the government of India by the way of dividend, which would be spent for the development of the country. Out of the rupees 15,42,000 crore, three to four lakh crore wouldn’t come back to the RBI. That’s the statement made by the Attorney General of India.

Today, out of Rs 15,42,000 crore, Rs 15,31,000 crore has come back to the RBI. Around Rs 10,000 crore hasn’t come back. But, this amount of 10,000 crore might be a currency in Nepal, Bhutan, etc., or the currency, which was lost in fire, flood or some accident? Or even, currency in the hands of NRIs. If a person goes to America and comes back to India, he has 50 dollars in his hands. Likewise, a person coming to India from America can go back with thousand rupees. Practically, every rupee has come back to the RBI, which means the three to four lakh crore of black money has also come back to the RBI. What the government thought of or described as black money, has now been converted to white money. Until someone investigates and terms the black money as ?black money, it’s white money today.

Like I said, Mr Gandhi too said that demonetisation (we think) was devised to help people convert their hoards of black money into white money. This was the easiest money laundering system devised by the Modi government. Everybody converted their black money into white money. Demonetisation is the most elegant money laundering exercise invented in the world. Elegant because it’s not at all complicated. You give your black money and get white money in return!

Also read: Demonetisation was a huge scam: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress party is claiming that demonetisation is a failure but there seems to be no concrete plan on effectively communicating it to the public, especially when 2019 elections are not very far off. Hasn’t the party learnt any lessons from the 2014 debacle, which was primarily because Modi proved to be a much superior communicator than Rahul Gandhi?

Well, good luck to Mr Modi! (Smiles). A healthy majority of the people of this country have come to a conclusion that demonetisation was an utter failure. I’ve seen reports on television, newspapers, interviews, etc., and I think everyone is of the view that demonetisation is a complete failure. I’m communicating to you and through you, I’m communicating to the people of Maharashtra. Tomorrow, hopefully, it appears in the Marathi media also! (Smiles).

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Nagpur News

Rushikesh Lohit reigns as numero uno in Rapid Championship; Shaunak Badole tops Nagpur Blitz Championship

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Radhika Dhawad | Nagpur

Rushikesh Lohit won the Nagpur District Rapid Championship while Shaunak Badole won the Nagpur District Blitz Chess Championship.

Rushikesh Lohit won the Nagpur District Rapid Championship while Shaunak Badole won the Nagpur District Blitz Chess Championship held at Vivekanand Hall, Shraddha House, Kingsway, Near Kasturchand Park in Nagpur.

The championship was organised  by Chess Association Nagpur in association with Kalpana Prakash Welfare Foundation and G.H.Raisoni Sports and Cultural Foundation. Muktanand Pendsey finished second in the both Rapid and Blitz Championship. Rushikesh Lohit and Muktanand Pendsey will represent Nagpur in the Rapid Championship and Shaunak and Muktanand will represent Nagpur District in the Maharashtra State Blitz Championship.

Mangesh Kashikar, Secretary, Nagpur District Badminton Association and Vice President of Maharashtra Badminton Association was the Chief Guest who distributed the prizes. Bhushan Shriwas, Secretary, CAN and Kalpana Prakash Welfare Foundation, SS.Soman, Working President, CAN and Amrish Joshi, Chief Arbiter were present on the occasion.

The Top two finishers of Rapid and Blitz Championship were awarded Trophies whereas the players finishing from 3rd to 10th place were awarded Medals in both the championship. In addition to the main prizes, age group prizes were also distributed to top two finishers in each group.

The championship was conducted by Chief Arbiter Amrish Joshi assisted by SNA Swati Kumbhalkar, SNA Amit Tembhurne, Shyam Agrawal, Prayas Amabde and Prathamesh Machave.

Also read: Wine connoisseurs come together at Wine and Food Festival 2022 in Nagpur

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Nagpur News

Wine connoisseurs come together at Wine and Food Festival 2022 in Nagpur

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Avani Arya | Photographer : Nitin Mankar | Nagpur

Wine connoisseurs came together at Wine and Food Festival 2022 in Nagpur, which took place on December 3 and 4. This was the ninth edition. It was hosted by Nagpur Wine Club, and was held at Bhagwati Lawn. The festival was open to all, where people enjoyed wine tasting and lip-smacking food by The Breakfast Story, Nagpur. Nation Next brings you some exclusive photos from the event.

Also Read: I-Clean Nagpur beautifies 232nd spot, decorates walls with Warli designs

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Nagpur News

‘Maharashtra government responsive towards issues of traders,’ assures Eknath Shinde

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Nation Next Newsroom | Nagpur
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said Maharashtra government was responsive towards issues of traders.

L to R: Eknath Shinde and Dipen Agrawal

At the outset Dr Dipen Agrawal, President of Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry and Trade (CAMIT) welcomed Chief Minister, Eknath Shinde with a floral bouquet in prominent presence of Krupal Tumane MP, Ramtek and submitted memorandums highlighting harassment of traders by Local Body Tax department across the state under the garb of LBT Assessment. He also appraised about the issue of Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) and he further brought to the notice of CM about the exorbitant hike in rent by Corporations & their coercive action on traders.

Dr Agrawal on behalf of traders of Maharashtra expressed his gratitude towards Eknath Shinde about Local Body Tax being abolished (LBT with effect from August 2015. Though LBT was abolished in 2015 but the ghost of LBT is haunting traders now and then, department in routine are passing ex-party (best judgement) orders raising inflated and fictitious tax demands and using them to justify continuance of LBT Department. Records from LBT Appellate Authority will evidence the correctness of this statement. He also informed that LBT Department in various Corporation indulged in issuing back dated assessment orders for previous financial years. He appealed to CM that the issue requires his urgent attention, intervention and directions for closure of LBT Department in all Municipal Corporations with immediate effect to ensure ease of doing business in the state and save traders from unnecessary harassment.

Eknath Shinde acknowledged that he is aware of the issue. He assured to discuss the issue in cabinet and ensure that the issue is addressed on priority basis.

Dr Dipen Agrawal informed CM, that since last few years Municipal Corporations across the state stopped renewing lease/license of property leased/licensed by them. In 2019 the state government came up with Maharashtra Municipal Corporations (Renewal of Lease or Transfer of Immovable Property) Rules, 2019. These Rules were strongly opposed by trade associations. However, after its implementation the litigation between the lessee/tenants and Corporations went to court added Dr Agrawal. 

After great persuasion by the then LOP, you as minister for UDD agreed to the demand to put the notification dated 13/09/2019 in abeyance and review the exorbitant annual rent at 8% property value and fix the annual rent acceptable to all stakeholders. 

After the issue was raised on the floor of the house, the State government stayed the operation of notification dated 13/09/2019 and constituted a committee of government officers to review and fix fresh rent. When we approached few members of the committee to submit our suggestions’ we learnt that the committee is of opinion that the notification in question does not apply to the Licensee holder. 

Hence, in the background of above facts and circumstances Agrawal requested CM, to intervene and have the pending notification issued and fix the rent at 0.5% of Ready Reckoner value for residential & 1% for commercial lease holder Galedharaks . He further requested to notify similar rules and frame a single policy for the Licensee Galedharaks across the state and in cases where shop/otta is licensed by Corporation the annual rent be fixed at the rate of 2% of value as per ready reckoner and as the lease/license fee will be calculated on ready reckoner the clause of periodic increase dose not survive also the lease / license should be transferable and transfer fee to be charged equal to one month rent/fee for transfer within blood relation and equal to three months’ rent/fee for transfer outside blood relation and the agreed new lease rent/license fee to be made applicable prospectively and not retrospectively.

Eknath Shinde said that the issue is under active consideration and assured to look into the matter and discuss with Chief Minister, Eknath Shinde to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.

Dr. Dipen Agrawal further informed Eknath Shinde that the first notification declared 5 Km area touching outer limits of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) as Nagpur Metro Region issued in 1995 which was thereafter increased time to time to present limit of 25 Km from boundary of NMC. In 2010 Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) was entrusted with responsibility of Special Planning Authority for Nagpur Metro Region the limits. In 2012 NIT passed resolution for preparing development plan for Metro Region and published Draft Development Plan (2012-2032) calling objection and suggestions, in the year 2015. In 2017 Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) was established. In 2018 Final Development Plan (2012-2032) for Nagpur Metro Region was sanctioned and notified. NMRDA action is based on following three main reasons:- 

1) Side margins are not as per 2012-2032 DCR; Dr. Agrawal highlighted that majority of units i.e., 59% were established before the 2012-NIT resolution and 85% were established before the first publication of 2015-Draft Development Plan (2012-2032), and pointed out that it is unjust on part of NMRDA to expect these units to maintain the margins prescribed in DCR (2012-32).

2) Building plan/ Non-agriculture use is not sanctioned by competent authority; Dr. Agrawal pointed out that under MRTP Act the power to change use of land is can be delegated to Thasildar and powers to authorise development to Gram Panchayat concerned. Invoking these powers Thasildar was approving and sanctioning NA Permissions and Gram Panchayat was sanctioning Building Plans. The units in good faith have taken these permissions from them and further submitted to other Government agencies.

3) Land earmarked for purpose other than industrial/commercial; MRTP Act provides for survey and preparing ‘existing-land-use’ map by Planning Authority after its declaration of intention of preparing a Development Plan. It is surprising to note that the area of many units established prior to declaration of intention of preparing Development Plan is not classified under industrial/commercial zone.

Dr. Dipen Agrawal humbly requested CM to grant an Amnesty Scheme for regularization wherein interest & penalty would be waived and also direct the authorities to notify that the MSME units established prior to 06/01/2018 (the date on which the DCR 2012-2032 for Nagpur Metropolitan Region was notified) should be saved from the provisions of the said DCR.

Eknath Shinde said that the government is sized with issue and assured to resolve the matter in the best interest of all stakeholders.

Dr. Dipen Agrawal, President-CAMIT on behalf of business community of the state expressed his gratitude towards Eknath Shinde, Chief Minister, Krupal Tumane, Member of Parliament, Ramtek for being sensitive towards the issues of trade & industry of the state.

Also read: I-Clean Nagpur beautifies 232nd spot, decorates walls with Warli designs

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