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Skeletons in the closet: Mitra digs up 3 scams involving PM

Skeletons in the closet: Mitra digs up 3 scams involving PM

Kolkata: State Finance and Industry minister Amit Mitra on Thursday branded Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a 'master of corruption' and took a dig at him, mentioning three major financial scams in which he has been embroiled.

"The 2016 demonetisation of high-value notes has led to an all-time generation of over 14 lakh suspicious transaction reports (STRs). This has been published in the report prepared by Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) that was published on March 31. In the 2013-14 fiscal, the number of such fictitious financial transactions was only 62,000 and after demonetisation was announced in November 2016, such transactions went up to 4,73,000 by the end of the first quarter in March 2017. Is this not a ploy to make black money white?" Mitra questioned.

It may be mentioned that this is the highest ever figure of STRs since the FIU first started the regime over a decade ago. Mitra further maintained that interestingly 94 percent of these suspicious dealings have not yet been processed.

The FIU is the central agency under the Union Finance ministry that analyses suspicious financial transactions pertaining to money laundering, terror financing and serious instances of tax frauds and crimes.

It may be mentioned that the demonetisation of high value currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 was declared by PM Narendra Modi on the night of November 8, 2016, following which huge amounts of cash was deposited in banks. Multiple inter-bank transactions also ensued post the announcement.

Mitra also took the opportunity to lambast Modi for his alleged involvement in providing benefits to a company based in Ahmedabad that was running at a loss of Rs 38,888 in the year 2016. The company's income has now gone to Rs 130 crore, of which Rs 22 crore has come from public sector banks. "There should be an investigation into this as well as the Rafale scam," Mitra asserted.

He further hit out at the Prime Minister for his numerous foreign visits. "He had been to 92 countries in 55 months, for which Rs 2,021 crore has been spent. However, the Foreign Direct Investment that was growing at 22.63 percent, nosedived to a negative 10.26 percent in the year 2016-17. The people of the country want an answer from the Prime Minister and this is why Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called him an expiry PM," Mitra reiterated.

Elaborating on his claims, Mitra pointed out several parameters through which he branded the Prime Minister as an 'Economy Derailed Master' (EDM).

"The GDP of the country that was growing at 8.15 percent in the 2015-16 fiscal, fell to 6.7 percent in 2017-18. The industry growing at 9.58 percent in 15-16 has slid to 5.95 percent. The manufacturing sector has nosedived to 5.93 percent in 17-18 from 13.06 percent in 2015-16. The NPAs in banks have grown to 10 lakh crore in 2017-18, from Rs 2 lakh crore in 2014," he added.

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