Seeking a white paper on demonetisation, Congress on Wednesday posed several questions to the Prime Minister including how much black money has come in and put forth a charter of demands including lifting all restrictions on money withdrawal and compensation to farmers, traders and the poor who have ‘suffered’ due to note ban.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should double the MNREGA wages and the number of days each labourer can work, besides giving 50 per cent rebate in Income Tax and Sales Tax to shopkeepers and 20 per cent bonus on MSP for Rabi crops to farmers and waiving their loans.
Coming out with the ‘Charter of Demands’ before the media, he sought a list of all those who have deposited above Rs 25 lakh before demonetisation was announced and sought relief to those badly affected including provision of Rs 25,000 to at least one woman of each BPL family.
“We want that the Prime Minister should explain some things to the country. After November 8, how much black money has come out and how much economic loss has the country suffered due to demonetisation. How many people lost their lives and whether any compensation has been paid to them.
“The Prime Minister should also tell whom he consulted before taking the decision and spell out the names of experts consulted. The Prime Minister should also provide a list of all those people who have deposited Rs 25 lakh or more in their accounts before demonetisation,” he told reporters.
As part of the demands, Rahul Gandhi said all restrictions on withdrawal of money be lifted with immediate effect and till the time these restrictions are in place, a special interest at the rate of 18 pc per annum be given to all. He also sought that all charges on digital transactions should be abolished forthwith, adding that the charter of demands was “on behalf of the people of India”.
Gandhi said the price of of ration distributed under the PDS system should be halved for the period of a year under the provisions of the Food Security Act and a special one-time bonus of 20 per cent should be provided over and above the MSP of all Rabi crops.
“That Rs 25,000 should be deposited in the account of at least one woman belonging to each BPL family as compensation for the immense suffering caused to women due to demonetisation,” the demands charter said. Gandhi also said that an Income Tax and Sales tax rebate of 50 pc should be given to small shopkeepers and businesses. The central government should compensate state governments for loss of revenue incurred on account of this exemption,he said.
The Congress vice president also demanded that the number of guaranteed work days and the wage rate under MGNREGA should be doubled for a period of one year.
He also demanded that government should organise a special drive to identify and register those who lost their jobs since 8 November and provide them compensation at the applicable minimum wage rate for a period up to 31 March.