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Modi: Indians shoulder to shoulder in graft fight
January 1, 2017, 3:20 pm

Following the recall of the outlawed 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, India is now coping with a weakened rupee amid foreign cash outflow [Xinhua]

Following the recall of the outlawed 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, India is now coping with a weakened rupee amid foreign cash outflow [Xinhua]


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended his controversial demonetization policy in a televised address Saturday marking the New Year.

There have been long queues at ATMs and banks since early November as millions of people have rushed to exchange the withdrawn 500 and 1,000 rupee bills for other denominations.

There have been reports that ATMs and banks have run out of money.

Other pundits have said that the government should have already printed replacement bills ahead of its snap decision. They say that at least 85 per cent of India’s currency is currently in those very bills the government has withdrawn.

Modi has insisted that the demonetization is an essential move to tackle graft in the country and crack down on black money – also referred to as unknown sources of income

On Saturday night, he said: “In this fight against corruption and black money, it is clear that you [the people] would like to walk shoulder to shoulder with us.”

“For us in government, this is a blessing … Corruption, black money, and counterfeit notes had become so rampant in India’s social fabric, that even honest people were brought to their knees,” he added.

Modi also urged more to be done to aid the poir, farmers, and small businesses who have been challenged by the demonetisation reform.

He said that banks should do more to increase lending for the poor, and assist new homeowners to deal with borrowing interest rates.

“Modi also said the government would increase credit guarantees for small businesses and provided additional incentives for digital transactions,” Reuters reported.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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