Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Common people suffering for no fault of theirs, says JP

VISAKHAPATNAM: Millions of common people are suffering to exchange their hard-earned money due to the “incompetence” and “bungling” of the Narendra Modi Government after demonetisation of high denomination notes, Lok Satta Party founder Jayaprakash Narayan has said.

“I had campaigned against black money decades ago and readily welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement on November 8. I thought that demonetisation was announced after taking adequate steps to ensure ready availability of new currency,” he told a media conference here on Sunday.

Though Mr. Modi’s intentions could be noble, the common people should not be allowed to suffer for the fault of the government. The general public were still supporting the Prime Minister despite their own difficulties as they feel that corruption would end in the long run.

Honesty and truthfulness were the basic pre-requisites of any individual, but Mr. Modi was being projected as a messiah of truthfulness for his demonetisation move.

Though the economy had suffered a setback due to non-availability of cash, corrective steps should be taken to put it back on track at the earliest.

Describing real estate, government offices, and elections as the “biggest drivers of corruption,” Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan suggested that the government reduce the stamp duty and registration charges on land, besides ensuring “realistic” land prices.

The services of corrupt government officials should be terminated and ‘service guarantees’ be given for different works at government offices to ensure that people do not have to bribe the officials to get their work done on time, he said.

Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan said that the government was trying to bring new laws on corruption to punish the “bribe-givers” while giving a long hand to the “receivers of bribe.”

The proposed laws prescribe jail terms for the ‘givers’ while the ‘receivers’ could not be punished, without prior permission of the government.

Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan said that it was an open secret that MPs and MLAs were spending crores of rupees to get elected. The process to revamp the system should begin at least now.

Replying to queries, he said that personal honesty of the Prime Minister was not enough.

“I am least interested in any political party and my only concern is that people should not suffer. At least now, the government should allow cash to reach the common people.”

He opined that the cashless economy could not be brought overnight with a mere 80,000 banks working in 15 lakh villages. Then, there was the problem of cyber crime.

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