RBI to withdraw Rs 2,000 notes: Banks asked to stop issuing them; to continue as legal tender till Sept 30

News Network
May 19, 2023

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New Delhi, May 19: The Reserve Bank of India has decided to withdraw the Rs 2,000 denomination banknotes from circulation. However, the central bank has said that the currency notes will continue to be legal tender till September 30. RBI has asked banks to provide deposit and/or exchange facility for Rs 2,000 notes until September 30, 2023.

The central bank has also asked banks to stop issuing Rs 2,000 notes with immediate effect. This change has been brought about in pursuance with RBI's “Clean Note Policy”, RBI said in its communique.

Members of the public will be allowed to deposit Rs 2,000 banknotes into their bank accounts and/or exchange them into banknotes of other denominations at any bank branch. 

However, RBI added that exchange of Rs 2000 banknotes into banknotes of other denominations can be made upto a limit of Rs 20,000 at a time at any bank starting from May 23, 2023.

Deposit into bank accounts can be made in the usual manner, that is, without restrictions and subject to extant instructions and other applicable statutory provisions, the central bank added.

The facility to exchange Rs 2,000 banknotes upto the limit of Rs 20,000 at a time will also be provided at the 19 Regional Offices (ROs) of RBI having Issue Departments from May 23, 2023.

RBI said that it had undertaken a similar withdrawal of notes from circulation in 2013-2014.

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News Network
April 11,2024

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Bengaluru: With six children of Karnataka Ministers in the Lok Sabha poll arena, the campaign scene is getting spiced up in the high-stakes elections for the ruling Congress in the state. Prabha Mallikarjun, wife of Minister S S Mallikarjun, is also in the poll fray.

The grand old party tried its best to make several ministers enter the Lok Sabha election fray but none of them agreed and, instead, they proposed the candidature of their family members.

'Now, deliver' is the stern message of the Congress leadership to the ministers, putting the onus on them to ensure the victory of their kin, according to party sources.

The Congress secured only one seat in Karnataka in the 2019 general elections, and has now set an ambitious target of winning in 15 to 20 constituencies in the coming polls.

Elections in 28 constituencies in the State will be held in two phases on April 26 and May 7.

Sons of Laxmi Hebbalkar, Eshwar Khandre and H C Mahadevappa— Mrinal Ravindra Hebbalkar, Sagar Khandre and Sunil Bose— have been fielded from Belagavi (Belgaum), Bidar and Chamarajanagar, respectively.

Daughters of Satish Jarkiholi, Shivanand Patil and Ramalinga Reddy— Priyanka Jarkiholi, Samyukta Patil and Sowmya Reddy— are in contention in Chikkodi, Bagalkot and Bangalore South respectively.

Prabha Mallikarjun, wife of Minister S S Mallikarjun and daughter-in-law of veteran party leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa, is the party's nominee from Davangere.

"In this 'do or die' situation, the ministers have found the Lok Sabha election a launch pad for their children and relatives. We have to see how these ministers succeed in their mission," a Congress insider said.

Barring Sowmya Reddy, who is a former MLA, none of them have any legislative experience in elections. Stakes are high for some other ministers as well.

The party has fielded Radhakrishna Doddamani, son-in-law of Congress President M Mallikarjun Kharge in the family's home turf of Kalaburagi (Gulbarga), a seat held by the BJP.

Kharge's son and Minister Priyank Kharge has taken charge of spearheading the campaign in this segment, where his father had lost in the 2019 general elections.

"Priyank has taken this election as a prestige issue given the fact that the Congress president hails from here and had represented this constituency in the past in the Lok Sabha," a Congress leader said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month launched the BJP's formal campaign in Kalaburagi in what was seen as an aggressive message to the Congress.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and State Congress chief D K Shivakumar's brother D K Suresh is seeking reelection in Bangalore Rural, where the BJP and JD(S) have fielded noted cardiologist and son-in-law of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda.

The Congress which came to power in the state in May last year is seeking to ride on its five guarantee schemes of the government.

Sowmya Reddy, who is contesting from Bangalore South asked the women voters during a recent roadshow - "Do you travel in the buses? Which places have you visited in the recent past? Do you pay or travel for free?".

She was referring to 'Shakti' guarantee that offers free rides to Karnataka women in non-luxury government buses within the state. Reddy explained to the people about the four other guarantees— 'Gruha Lakshmi', 'Gruha Jyoti', 'Yuva Nidhi' and 'Anna Bhagya'.

"Who brought 'Achchhe Din'? Is it Congress or the BJP? Which 'Achchhe Din' you will vote for?" Reddy asked the women voters.

In Belagavi, Mrinal Ravindra Hebbalkar, is taking on BJP candidate and former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar.

In campaign meetings, Minister Laxmi Hebbalkar reminded the crowd how Shettar had joined Congress when the BJP denied him a ticket in the 2023 Assembly election, only to return to the saffron party a few months later.

"Shettar is from Hubballi and we are from Belagavi. We know the problems prevailing here better than any 'outsider'. Today, BJP people are saying that they vote for Shettar keeping Prime Minister Narendra Modi in mind, but I want to know why he joined Congress and abused the BJP, Modi and former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa," the minister asked.

The BJP swept the 2019 general elections in Karnataka winning 25 out of the 28 seats, while an independent backed by the party also won. The Congress and JD(S) which fought the elections together, secured one seat each.

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News Network
April 14,2024

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Sunday expressed deep concern over the military escalation in the Middle East and urged all parties involved to exercise restraint, the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned of "serious repercussions" on the region and its peoples from the dangers of a wider war, according to SPA.

Iran on Saturday launched drones and missiles against Israel, making good its threat to retaliate against the Israeli air strike that destroyed an Iranian embassy annex building in Damascus, Syria, killing at least 13 people, including two generals of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard.

The Saudi ministry "affirmed the Kingdom’s position calling for the need for the Security Council to assume its responsibility towards maintaining international peace and security, especially in this region that is extremely sensitive to global peace and security, and to prevent the escalation of the crisis that will have serious consequences if it expands," said the SPA report. 

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News Network
April 7,2024

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Israel's relentless aggression against the Gaza Strip has now stretched over six months, and shows no sign of abating despite international calls for a ceasefire.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime's decades-long campaign of violence against Palestinians.

At that time, the Israeli regime said attacking Gaza had two goals: eliminating Hamas and bringing back the hostages taken by the resistance group to Gaza. None of them have been achieved so far.

About 130 of the 250 Israeli captives taken during Operation Al-Aqsa Storm are still in Gaza after a provisional truce deal in December saw the exchange of a number of prisoners between the two sides.

Death toll

The conflict in Gaza has taken a devastating toll on Palestinians, with over 33,200 people, including 13,800 children, having lost their lives in 180 days of war, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

On top of that, around 76,000 people have been wounded – about four out of every 100 people in Gaza. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said this week some 1,000 children in Gaza have lost one or both of their legs.

A record-breaking 176 UN staff members and seven foreign aid workers have been killed in Gaza since October 7.

The Israeli army has killed the largest number of journalists of any modern conflict and detained more than 24. More than 140 journalists have been killed during the six months of war in the Israeli military's raids, bombardments and missile attacks across the Gaza Strip.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza has worsened day by day as the Israeli army continues to prevent aid from reaching the region, resulting in starvation being utilized as a tactic of warfare as over a million are at risk of starvation, with international groups warning of an “imminent” famine.

At least 27 Palestinians have already died from malnutrition and dehydration, according to international NGOs.

Displacement

More than 80 percent of Gaza’s population (Over 1.9 million Palestinians) have been intentionally displaced as the Israeli military ordered Palestinians to “go south” from the start of the war.

Some 1.4 million people are believed to be sheltering in Rafah, a small city on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt which is being bombarded by the Israeli forces every day as they have left no safe zone for the Palestinians to live.

Infrastructure damage

The estimated $18.5 billion in damage has affected public service infrastructure, resulting in 26 million tons of debris and rubble.

Over 290,000 housing units, equivalent to 62 percent of all homes in Gaza, have been damaged or destroyed by the war, leaving more than a million people homeless.

Only a fraction of hospitals, 10 out of 36, are operational following severe damage, leading to overwhelming strain on their limited resources.

Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza, has been left severely damaged and burned after enduring a relentless two-week-long siege. The compound, which witnessed the loss of at least 400 lives and the arrest of hundreds, now faces a dire situation.

With an acute shortage of medicine and healthcare professionals on the brink of exhaustion and starvation, the majority of patients in Gaza are unable to receive the treatment they desperately need.

The scarcity of resources has forced medical teams to carry out operations and amputations without the availability of anesthetic, further exacerbating the already dire circumstances.

Political resolutions

On March 6, South Africa filed an “urgent request” with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and requested for additional provisional measures issued on January 26.

In January, the ICJ ordered Israel to refrain from any acts that could fall under the Genocide Convention and ensure its troops commit no genocidal acts against Palestinians in Gaza. Israel described the genocide allegation as baseless.

On Friday, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution, calling for a halt to all arms sales to Israel, and for the regime to be held accountable for possible war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

Moreover, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution last month, demanding an “immediate ceasefire” for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The resolution is the first to be approved by the council after three previous attempts during the past five months of war were vetoed by the US.

Meanwhile, during the months of war, protests around the world have been held in support of Palestine, calling for an immediate ceasefire and halt to arms sales to Israel.

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