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India Said to Get 97% Banned Notes in Setback to Graft Crackdown


Indians have deposited nearly all the currency bills outlawed at the end of the deadline last year, according to people with knowledge of the matter, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive to unearth unaccounted wealth and fight corruption.

Banks have received 14.97 trillion rupees ($220 billion) as of Dec. 30, the deadline for handing in the old bank notes, the people said, asking not to be identified citing rules for speaking with the media. The government had initially estimated about 5 trillion rupees of the 15.4 trillion rupees rendered worthless by the sudden move on Nov. 9 to remain undeclared as it may have escaped the tax net illegally, known locally as black money.

A full validation of the bank notes is a set back for Modi who had been relying on this move to burnish his administration’s corruption fighting credentials and boost its popularity ahead of key state elections. The anti-corruption measure has dented economic growth and forced millions into lengthy bank queues, although it remains broadly popular. Full Story

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