Five must-read stories—December 12   

The stories you can’t miss

Photo by Kamal Singh/PTI
Photo by Kamal Singh/PTI

NH National Bureau

Government plans to import 20,000 tonnes of currency paper soon

The NDA Government is likely to issue a high-volume limited tender, possibly as early as next week, for the import of currency paper from a clutch of foreign firms to meet the requirement of the country’s four security printing presses following the demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes on November 8. According to the Indian Express, this decision was taken at a Finance Ministry meeting, chaired by Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Saturday. The import order, which could be in the range of 20,000 tonnes, is far higher than the approximately 8,000 tonnes imported over the current year.

Industrial workers to get only cashless payments

Contrary to the current practice of paying cash, the NDA government plans to make it mandatory for salary payments to millions of factory and industrial workers to be made only through cheque or directly into their bank accounts. According to The Times of India, the move—for which a Cabinet note has been circulated—is in line with demonetisation and also aimed at ensuring that workers are paid the minimum wages stipulated by the Centre and states.

Centre likely to miss April deadline for GST

The Centre’s plans of getting the three Goods and Services Tax-related bills passed in this Winter Session seems to be in jeopardy as the Opposition has refused to play ball on contentious issues—like dual control on assessees and other matters—in the GST Council meetings. A meeting on Sunday chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that was attended by FMs from the states failed to break the deadlock. Since the three bills are not going to be passed in the winter session, the Economic Times says the Centre’s target of enforcing it from April 1, 2017, is likely to be missed.

Why your ATM may just turn into a hacker’s paradise

About 70% of the 202,000 ATM machines in India run on Windows XP, for which Microsoft stopped offering security updates, patches and technical support in April 2014. The Economic Times says there’s a high probability the cash dispenser runs on software Microsoft stopped supporting more than two years back, thus making it vulnerable to hackers. Card details could be stolen—as they indeed were earlier this year—even as one frets about what to do with the solitary ₹2,000 note the machine dispenses.

Pakistan appoints new ISI chief in major army reshuffle

Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar has been appointed chief of Pakistan's powerful spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), replacing Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar, the Pakistan army said in a statement. According to PTI, this is the first major reshuffle in the military's top brass after new army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa took over the reins two weeks ago.

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