Indian minister praises Modi for demonetisation
December 13, 2017 | 8:45 PM
by Times News Service
Indian culture minster Dr. Mahesh Sharma spoke at a function at the Indian embassy in Muscat, organised in his honour on Tuesday. Photo: Shabin E.

Muscat: Indian Minister of State for Culture and Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma, heaped praise on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for demonetisation of notes of high value.

Sharma made these remarks at an Indian embassy function organised in his honour on Tuesday.

He was referring to Prime Minister Modi’s decision to scrap the Indian currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000 that came into effect on November 9, 2016. The idea was to make black money valueless to curb corruption. The decision was criticised by India’s opposition parties, who said that it brought untold miseries to common people.

However, Sharma reiterated that the note ban had in fact, successfully restricted corruption and armed insurgency, especially the Naxalite movement in parts of central India.

“The Rs1,000 note was being used by corrupt people to hoard cash. Demonetisation broke their back. Besides, it hindered the Naxalites and helped make the nation more safe,” Sharma said.

The minister is in Oman to attend the second World Conference on Tourism and Culture. He said that he was glad to see many Keralities in Oman. “As many as 840 people from Kerala worked at my hospital. It was one big Kerala family,” he added.

HM’s vision

Sharma also expressed admiration for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and his vision of the country. He also praised the people of Oman, calling them warm and courteous. “Wherever you go, Indians here, have nothing but the nicest things to say about Oman. That tells you everything you need to know about the country,” he said.

Earlier, Indian ambassador to Oman, Indra Mani Pandey thanked Sharma for accepting the invite to the embassy, despite his busy schedule.

He welcomed the minister to the Sultanate and gave him an overview of the Indian community in Oman.

“We have a well-knit, yet diverse Indian community, here in Oman. This reflects that we have 25 Indian social club wings in the country,” he said.

Pandey also stressed that the embassy had an interactive relationship with the community. He said that Indians communicate their difficulties to embassy officials. “We always try to incorporate suggestions of citizens into the way we work,” he added.

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