QBullet: Note Ban Proposed Before PM’s Telecast; New Passport Laws

Read top headlines from across the country in The Quint’s newswrap.

6 min read
The RBI headquarters in Mumbai. (Photo: Reuters)

1. RBI Says Ban on Rs 1000, 500 Notes Proposed Hours Before Telecast of PM’s Speech

An RTI query has revealed that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recommended that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 be demonetised hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the surprise move in a televised address to the nation on 8 November.

The government and the RBI have kept the consultation process that led to the decision to demonetise 86% of India’s cash in circulation a closely-guarded secret. Both, however, have insisted that the demonetisation plan had been under discussion for long and consultations were being held.

Economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das told reporters on 8 November that there was “no need to go into the process which led to this decision. I think what we should be focusing on is the outcome and the decision itself”.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

2. GST Council Moves Closer to Finalising Draft Laws

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Photo: PTI)
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Photo: PTI)

The Goods and Services Council has moved closer to finalising the draft Central GST and State GST laws that must be passed in Parliament – along with two other laws – to bring GST into implementation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced on Friday.

The Council will meet again on 3-4 January and will discuss the contentious issue of cross-empowerment, the only main issue that is lacking consensus, Jaitley added. The next session will also see the CGST and SGST laws being framed in legal language and placed before the states, he said.

(Source: The Hindu)

3. How Previous L-Gs and CMs of Delhi Handled Spats

Repeated confrontations and public spats over administrative jurisdiction had caused intense friction between the office of the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Minister of Delhi ever since the Aam Aadmi Party came back to power in February 2015.

Senior politicians and bureaucrats, said that the differences existed between these two offices even during the previous Congress and BJP regimes, they never went beyond making headlines for a day or two – unlike the tussle between Najeeb Jung and Arvind Kejriwal,

A senior bureaucrat, who has also served in the L-G office, recalled how a file on revising the circle rate led to a confrontation between then chief minister Sheila Dikshit and L-G Vijai Kapoor, who was appointed by the NDA government. “The matter was settled soon after the government was able to convince the L-G,” the official said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. Pranab Mukherjee Questions but Okays Enemy Property Ordinance

President Pranab Mukherjee (Photo: Reuters)
President Pranab Mukherjee (Photo: Reuters)

The ordinance to amend the 50-year-old Enemy Property Act was promulgated for the fifth time late on Thursday, albeit with some reservations being expressed by President Pranab Mukherjee on why the government has been unable to clear the Amendment Bill in Parliament, according to Rashtrapati Bhavan sources.

He had expressed similar reservations on 30 August this year, when it was done for the fourth time.

The ordinance was proclaimed, for the first time, on 7 January this year. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on 9 March but was subsequently referred to the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha.

(Source: The Hindu)

5. You Can Now Get a Passport Without Submitting a Birth Certificate

(Photo: iStockPhoto)
(Photo: iStockPhoto)

The government has announced new passport rules aimed at simplifying and easing the process of issue of passport. The new rules also simplify the process of application for single parents, orphaned children, sadhus etc.

A three-member Committee, comprising officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development, was constituted to examine various issues pertaining to passport applications where mother/child has insisted that the name of the father should not be mentioned in the passport. The panel also examined passport issues relating to adopted children and children with single parents.

Read the full story on The Quint.

6. I-T Claims Rs 31 Cr Black Money Haul

(Photo: PTI)
(Photo: PTI)

Income tax sleuths have detected two cases of money laundering in Muzaffarpur and Gaya, worth at least Rs 31 crore, post demonetisation.

ST Ahmad, principal chief commissioner of income tax for Bihar and Jharkhand, said two businessmen in Muzaffarpur had opened four bank accounts – three in ICICI Bank and one in Kotak Mahindra Bank – in the name of Kunal, one of their employees, and deposited huge amounts of scrapped currency notes in them.

Money laundering of at least Rs 13 crore has been discovered in the accounts, sources said, adding that it could go up to Rs 20 crore.

(Source: The Telegraph)

7. Jammu and Kashmir: Protest Against Domicile Certificates to Pak Refugees

Separatists and mainstream opposition parties took on the Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday amid protests against the decision to grant domicile certificates to refugees from West Pakistan.

Clashes were reported from Sopore town in north Kashmir after Friday prayers, and the police used tears-moke shells and cane-charge to control the crowd.

In Srinagar, Independent legislator Engineer Rashid began a 48-hour sit-in outside the Gupkar residence of CM Mehbooba Mufti, while opposition National Conference (NC) said granting the refugees “state subject rights is tantamount to diluting the law and leaving it meaningless”.

(Source: The Indian Express)

8. 40,000 Plus and Counting: Responses to Questionnaire on Uniform Civil Code

The Law Commission questionnaire on uniform civil code has received a whopping 40,000 plus responses, which continue to pour in even after the expiry of the deadline.

While the deadline to send the responses ended on Wednesday, the law panel on Thursday said it would continue to entertain responses received after the deadline. Highly-placed sources in the panel said so far over 40,000 responses have been received.

Should the practice of triple talaq be abolished, retained or retained with suitable amendments; and whether a uniform civil code should be optional are among 16 queries by the commission.

(Source: The Indian Express)

9. Govt Asks E-Wallet, E-Commerce Companies to Strengthen Cyber Security Mechanisms

If bank accounts can be closed, why not Paytm accounts? (Photo: Rhythm Seth/ <b>The Quint</b>)
If bank accounts can be closed, why not Paytm accounts? (Photo: Rhythm Seth/ The Quint)

The Union home ministry has asked e-wallet and e-commerce companies to strengthen their cyber security mechanisms to prevent online fraud and hacking attacks.

Sources in the home ministry on Friday said the information technology ministry and all concerned departments and agencies were recently sounded out on the heightened cyber threat arising out of the surge in digital payment transactions.

"We stressed on the need for digital wallet and e-commerce companies to ensure secure payments through the digital mode. This has become imperative in the wake of alleged cyber fraud reported recently by Paytm," said a senior ministry official.

(Source: The Times of India)

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