Right to Food activists demand for safeguards to reduce hardships of demonetisation

Right to Food activists demand for safeguards to reduce hardships of demonetisation


A press statement issued from the Right to Food Campaign on 27 December, 2016 says that the demonetisation of old currency notes of Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000/- denomination wreaked havoc on the livelihood security of the poor people. The labouring and toiling masses, who are mostly engaged in the informal sector, have been adversely affected due to the scrapping of old currency notes of Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000/- denomination since 9 November, 2016. It is because the unorganized sector is heavily cash-dependent and unbanked.

Please click here to access the press statement of the Right to Food Campaign on demonetisation, dated 27 December, 2016.

Given the hardships faced by the poor, the marginalized, the farming community and the informal sector workers due to demonetisation, the Right to Food Campaign has made the following demands from the government:

1. Immediate increase of the Centre's contribution to social security pensions for widows, the elderly and disabled persons (under the National Social Assistance Programme) from Rs. 200/- per month to Rs. 1,000/- per month.
2. Immediate implementation of National Food Security Act provisions for universal maternity entitlements (Rs. 6,000/- per child).
3. Immediate central assistance for the inclusion of milk, eggs and fruits in school mid-day meals and ICDS.
3. Immediate increase in the annual MGNREGA budget to Rs. 60,000 crores, with effect from 2016-17.
4. Immediate compensation for all families of victims of demonetization-related deaths.
5. Immediate reversal of all recent reductions in social spending by the central government, as a share of GDP.
6. Full disclosure of how, when, why and by whom the decision was made to demonetize.

Cash shortages have not only prompted closing down of factories thereby snowballing recession, it has even become difficult for pensioners and MGNREGA workers to get their meagre pensions and wages on time, says the Right to Food Campaign press statement. Instead of flushing out black money from the system, the demonetisation drive has actually reinforced money laundering activities. The government has changed the goalposts behind demonetisation time and again ever since the measure was undertaken on 8 November, 2016.

Although the initial objectives behind demonetisation drive have been to curb black money, eradicate fake currency and end terrorism, the government is now presenting demonetization as a step towards a "cashless economy", says the press statement.
 
Vegetable vendor
 
A vegetable vendor accepting payment via the digital wallet PayTM at Sukra Bazaar (i.e. friday market) in Kaushambi, Ghaziabad (U.P.)
 
It must be noted that eminent citizens issued a statement on 15 November, 2016 that said that demonetisation will not eliminate black money. Please click here to access the citizens’ statement on demonetisation, dated 15 November, 2016.

The Inclusive Media for Change team has put together the following links and urls of recent news reports, opinions, analyses and interviews on demonetisation, which could be useful to researchers, general readers and media persons:
 
Press release: Withdrawal of Legal Tender Status for Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 Notes: RBI Notice, please click here to access

Withdrawal of Legal Tender Status for Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 Notes - Related Links, please click here to access
 
Motive behind demonetisation is justifiable but there may be collateral damage, Newsalert from Inclusive Media for Change, 14 November, 2016, please click here to access 
 
Poor swiped out in choice-less, not cash-less, society -Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey, The Indian Express, 30 December 2016, please click here to access 
 
Stories of notebandi -Satish Deshpande, The Hindu, 29 December, 2016, please click here to access

Why it's barter or cash in this 'cashless' Ambala village -Vinod Kumar, The Indian Express, 29 December, 2016, please click here to access

Cabinet clears ordinance to punish people holding banned notes beyond deadline -Suchetana Ray, Hindustan Times, 28 December, 2016, please click here to access

90% of scrapped notes back in system, big dividend unlikely, The Times of India, 28 December, 2016, please click here to access 
 
The pursuit of unreason -Prabhat Patnaik, The Telegraph, 28 December, 2016, please click here to access

Distress among Paddy Farmers in a Village of Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh): Pre & Post Demonetisation -Santosh Verma, Vikalp, 27 December, 2016, please click here to access

Information Commission Claims It Doesn't Have Time to Answer RTI Requests -Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar, TheWire.in, 27 December, 2016, please click here to access
 
The mother of all disruptions -Jean Dreze, The Hindu, 27 December, 2016, please click here to access
 
Farmers forced to dump their produce as note ban turns bumper crop worthless - Srinivasa Rao Apparasu, Brajendra K Parashar, Punya Priya Mitra & Manoj Ahuja, Hindustan Times, 26 December, 2016, please click here to access

Why demonetisation is a disaster - detailed analysis of RBI data -James Wilson, TheNewsMinute.com, 26 December, 2016, please click here to access 
 
RBI Rejects RTI Request for Minutes of Demonetisation Decision -Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar, TheWire.in, 25 December, 2016, please click here to access

'Ruined': Farmers hit as vegetable prices come crashing down after demonetisation -Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, 25 December, 2016, please click here to access

Gwalior farmers pay kids' school fees in paddy -Deshdeep Saxena, The Times of India, 25 December, 2016, please click here to access

For jute industry in Bengal, it's a clicks-and-mortar weave now -Shiv Sahay Singh, The Hindu, 25 December, 2016, please click here to access

Two BJP state govts commissioned note ban research months before Nov 8 -Nitin Sethi & Ishan Bakshi, Business Standard, 24 December, 2016, please click here to access

RBI says ban on Rs 1000, Rs 500 notes proposed hours before PM's speech -Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times, 24 December, 2016, please click here to access

This government's modus operandi is constant distraction -Pratap Bhanu Mehta, The Indian Express, 24 December, 2016, please click here to access

Demonetisation effect: Cash-starved anganwadis struggle to feed children -Subodh Varma, The Times of India, 24 December, 2016, please click here to access 
 
Parliamentary panel hears adverse views on demonetisation -Dilasha Seth & Amit Agnihotri, Business Standard, 23 December, 2016, please click here to access

Demonetisation: Was RBI given enough time to discuss note ban, Manmohan Singh asks House panel -Anand Mishra, The Indian Express, 23 December, 2016, please click here to access

Cash crunch proves a hot potato for these farmers -Vikas Vasudeva, The Hindu, 22 December, 2016, please click here to access

40% contractual staff jobless in Noida, The Times of India, 21 December, 2016, please click here to access

Handlooms fall silent in Varanasi, $1 trillion hidden economy stalled, The Indian Express, 20 December, 2016, please click here to access

Dialectics Of Authoritarianism: Transition From The People To The Leader -Prabhat Patnaik, The Citizen, 19 December, 2016, please click here to access

Odisha farmers go back to barter of labour practice post demonetisation, The New Indian Express, 19 December, 2016, please click here to access

Things are getting worse: Vegetable vendors counting losses -Manas Mitul, The Indian Express, 19 December, 2016, please click here to access

Three reasons why a cashless society would be a disaster -Amit Varma, The Times of India, 18 December, 2016, please click here to access

Demonetisation and digital transactions will never stop corruption in India. Here's why -Manoj Gairola, The Economic Times, 17 December, 2016, please click here to access

Farm labour barter beats cash crunch -Manoj Kar, The Telegraph, 17 December, 2016, please click here to access

No estimation of black money either before or after Nov 8: Arun Jaitley, The Indian Express, 16 December, 2016, please click here to access

Centre disputes RBI's deposit count, The Hindu, 15 December, 2016, please click here to access

BharatNet project: Ground work ready, connectivity not so much -Pranav Mukul, The Indian Express, 14 December, 2016, please click here to access

Cashless bliss? Tea belt deflates dream -Avijit Sinha & Anirban Choudhury, The Telegraph, 13 December, 2016, please click here to access

MGNREGA hires plummet by 23 per cent in notebandi November -Subodh Varma, The Times of India, 13 December, 2016, please click here to access

'My business will be finished': Cash crunch hits farmers in Punjab -Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Hindustan Times, 12 December, 2016, please click here to access

Plight of the migrants: Jobless labourers return home after demonetisation, Hindustan Times, 12 December, 2016, please click here to read more

45,000 workers lose jobs in F'bad units -Bijendra Ahlawat, The Tribune, 9 December, 2016, please click here to access

Agri dept stops selling wheat seed to farmers, sowing falls by 82% -Harveer Dabas, The Times of India, 4 December, 2016, please click here to access
 
The Political Economy of Demonetising High Value Notes -Jayati Ghosh, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, 14November, 2016, please click here to access 
 
Shock and oh damn -Pronab Sen, Ideas for India, 14 November, 2016, please click here to access
 
In the Long Term Indians Might Lose Faith in Cash and Turn Towards Gold -Ravinder Kaur, TheWire.in, 14 November, 2016, please click here to access  
 
Prabhat Patnaik speaks in JNU on Demonetization, SFI JNU Unit, 12 November, 2016, please click here to access
 
Note demonetisation: What of the women who hide cash to feed their children or to escape abuse? -Nishita Jha, Scroll.in, 12 November, 2016,please click here to access

Demonetisationdamage greater than its benefits, says Kaushik Basu -Arup Roychoudhury,Business Standard, 12 November, 2016, please click here to access
 
Why govt's demonetisation move may fail to win the war against black money -Appu Esthose Suresh, Hindustan Times, 12 November, 2016, please click here to access

Demonetisationleaves lakhs of tea, jute workers in Bengal, Northeast unpaid -Snigdhendu Bhattacharya, Amitava Banerjee and Rahul Karmakar, HindustanTimes, 12 November, 2016, please click here to access

Show me the money -Ila Patnaik, The Indian Express, 11 November, 2016, please click here to access
 
Modi's 'surgical strike' won't make a big difference to black money -TT Ram Mohan, Business Standard, 10 November, 2016, please click here to access
 
Inone stroke, demonetisation has shaken the trust our monetary system is based on -Devangshu Datta, Scroll.in, 9 November, 2016, please click here to access 
 
Demonetization: Witless and Anti-People -Prabhat Patnaik, TheCitizen.in, 9 November, 2016, please click here to access 
 
 
Interviews

Utsa Patnaik, professor emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University, interviewed by TK Rajalakshmi, Frontline.in, 23 December, 2016, please click here to access

R Nagaraj, an economist and currently a professor at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research in Mumbai, interviewed by Kedar Nagarajan (Caravan Magazine), Caravan Magazine, 12 December, 2016, please click here to access

M Govinda Rao, ex-Director, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (2003-13), interviewed by S Rajendran, The Hindu, 22 November, 2016, please click here to access

Jean Dreze, economist and a leading advocate of welfare policies, interviewed by Vasudha Venugopal, The Economic Times, 22 November, 2016, please click here to access

Abhijit Sen, economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, interviewed by Lola Nayar, Outlook, 21 November, 2016, please click here to access

Dr. Kavita Rao, professor at National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), interviewed by Supriya Sharma, Scroll.in, 19 November, 2016, please click here to access

KC Chakrabarty, ex-deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), interviewed by Manojit Saha, The Hindu, 18 November, 2016, please click here to access

Prof. Abhijit Sen, economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, interviewed by the ET, The Economic Times, 17 November, 2016, please click here to access

Prabhat Patnaik, economist and professor emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University, interviewed by Jahnavi Sen, TheWire.in, 12 November, 2016, please click here to access
 
International payments industry expert Guillaume Lepecq interview by Kanika Datta, Business Standard, 16 April, 2016, please click here to access 
 

Image Courtesy: Inclusive Media for Change / Shambhu Ghatak   



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