In­dia scrapped notes with­out home­work: Congress leader

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Sa­jeev K Peter

The In­dia gov­ern­ment’s shock de­ci­sion to de­mon­e­tize 500- and 1,000-ru­pee ban­knotes with­out ‘proper home­work’ has wrought havoc across the coun­try, and or­di­nary peo­ple are strug­gling to pay for their ba­sic goods and needs, said a vis­it­ing Congress leader from In­dia on Sun­day.

The worst-ever dis­rup­tion to cash trans­ac­tions in In­dia comes in the wake of the an­nounce­ment last Tues­day by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi ban­ning the two large de­nom­i­na­tion notes with a view to bring bil­lions of dol­lars of un­ac­counted wealth into the main­stream econ­omy and curb large-scale cor­rup­tion in the coun­try. How­ever, the de­ci­sion trig­gered an un­prece­dented cash crunch in the coun­try, with ATMs run­ning dry and banks fail­ing to dis­pense money.

“The move was ill-con­ceived, ill-thought-out and po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated. The sit­u­a­tion is be­com­ing worse with every pass­ing day,” V M Sud­heeran, pres­i­dent of Ker­ala state’s Congress com­mit­tee, said at a press con­fer­ence. The abrupt mea­sure was fraught with se­ri­ous con­se­quences for an es­sen­tially ru­ral econ­omy that is largely pow­ered by cash, he said, urg­ing the In­dia gov­ern­ment, the Re­serve Bank of In­dia, the min­istry of fi­nance and other con­cerned pol­i­cy­mak­ers to find an im­me­di­ate so­lu­tion to the cri­sis be­fore the sit­u­a­tion de­te­ri­o­rates any fur­ther. “The author­i­ties must act on a war foot­ing to find a so­lu­tion to the cri­sis,” Sud­heeran said.

He said there is also a con­certed move to wreck the cooperative move­ment in the state un­der the pre­text of black money erad­i­ca­tion, which will badly hurt farm­ers and the ru­ral econ­omy. Sud­heeran, voic­ing dis­may at the In­dian gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to scrap the min­istry of over­seas In­dian af­fairs when it came to power nearly two years ago, said the In­dian ex­pa­tri­ate com­mu­nity must get a fair deal from the In­dian author­i­ties.

High air­fares

The vis­it­ing In­dian leader ad­mit­ted the fact that the gov­ern­ments in In­dia over the years have failed to solve the per­sis­tent prob­lem of ex­or­bi­tant air­fares levied by In­dian car­ri­ers in the Gulf re­gion. “We have to make con­tin­u­ous ef­forts and in­ter­ven­tions to find a so­lu­tion to the prob­lem that is af­fect­ing the ex­pa­tri­ate com­mu­nity in the re­gion,” he re­marked. He said his party is keep­ing up pres­sure on both In­dia and Ker­ala gov­ern­ments to de­velop a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion project for In­di­ans who re­turn to the state from the Gulf in large num­bers.

Sud­heeran ar­rived in Kuwait on a three-day visit to at­tend a con­fer­ence of the Over­seas In­dian Cul­tural Congress (OICC). He called on Far­waniya Gover­nor Sheikh Faisal Al-Hu­moud Al-Malek Al-Sabah and dis­cussed is­sues per­tain­ing to the In­dian com­mu­nity in Kuwait. “It is grat­i­fy­ing to note that the Kuwaiti author­i­ties are by and large happy with the In­dian com­mu­nity in Kuwait which is the largest ex­pat com­mu­nity in the coun­try,” he said. KPCC trea­surer John­son Abra­ham, Sec­re­tary Man­nar Ab­dul­la­teef and OICC pres­i­dent Vargh­ese Puthuku­lan­gara were also present dur­ing the press con­fer­ence.

KUWAIT: V M Sud­heeran, pres­i­dent of Ker­ala state’s Congress com­mit­tee meets with Far­waniya Gover­nor Sheikh Faisal Al-Hu­moud Al-Malek Al-Sabah.

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