In­dia uses in­deli­ble ink to en­sure one­time cash change

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

NEW DELHI: In­dian banks will use in­deli­ble ink to en­sure that peo­ple only change old notes for new ones once un­der Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s scheme to fight “black money”, re­sort­ing to a tac­tic used to pre­vent mul­ti­ple vot­ing in elec­tions.

The step comes a week af­ter Modi or­dered the with­drawal of large de­nom­i­na­tion ban­knotes from cir­cu­la­tion, in a shock “de­mon­eti­sa­tion” drive to fight tax eva­sion, cor­rup­tion and forgery.

The gov­ern­ment only gave peo­ple a few hours no­tice be­fore the old 500 and 1,000 ru­pee ban­knotes – which ac­counted for 86% of cash in cir­cu­la­tion – were can­celled.

The sud­den move has caused huge dis­rup­tion to daily life, espe­cially for poor peo­ple who live in the cash econ­omy.

A top fi­nance min­istry of­fi­cial said the use of in­deli­ble ink – also used to stop mul­ti­ple vot­ing in In­dian elec­tions – would pre­vent “un­scrupu­lous per­sons” from send­ing peo­ple from one bank branch to the next to ex­change old notes. In­di­vid­u­als are only al­lowed to swap Rs4,500 (RM287.94) once.

“You find the same peo­ple com­ing back again and again,” Eco­nomic Af­fairs Sec­re­tary Shak­tikanta Das told a brief­ing, say­ing huge queues were pre­vent­ing hon­est peo­ple from get­ting the cash they need.

Cam­paign­ing to win power in 2014, Modi had pledged to flush out cor­rup­tion by forc­ing peo­ple to bring their hid­den money back into the sys­tem. – Reuters

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