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Cashless economy: under fire from Opposition, Modi finds warmth at home

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 09, 2016

Modi’s move also garnered support from trade bodies such as Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), FICCI and the CII   -  AFP

Gujarat directs govt departments to go for digital payments

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may be experiencing rough weather in the Parliament following the demonetisation move. But in his home State of Gujarat, the administration is making all efforts to help Modi succeed in his dream run – from cash to digital.

For example, earlier this week, the chief minister Vijay Rupani had issued orders directing all the government departments including corporations and boards to undertake financial transactions only through e-payments/digital modes.

Later, on December 7, nearly 25 lakh people from state villages, were provided training through SATCOM network on the uses and benefits of digital transaction. In a first for any public sector fertiliser player, State-run Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers & Chemicals (GNFC) installed 1000 point of sale (POS) machines at its depots and distributors across 130 talukas of the state and sold about 45,000 bags of fertilizers worth ₹1.5 crore through e-payment modes.

Banking correspondents

“We are also trying to activate all 5,200 banking correspondents (BCs) of various banks in the state. Where the BCs are not effective, we are asking banks to convert our computer entrepreneurs of e-gram scheme or the PDS shop owner as BCs and provide door-step services so that rural pensioners and beneficiaries need not go to banks,” said Sanjeev Kumar, Secretary (Expenditure), Finance Department, Gujarat Government.

The government has mandated financial transactions above ₹50,000 in receipt or payments to be made through e-payment only.

The state has about 18,000 village-level milk cooperative societies, where average weekly transactions worth ₹450 crore take place. “In the last one month we have converted about 50 per cent of these cooperatives under e-transaction. The others will be covered soon,” he added. All transactions relating to government duties, taxes and penalties will have to be made through cyber treasury portal. Also, for the civic taxes and transactions happening under the boards and corporations, societies and grant-in-aid organisations, the State government has directed them to make necessary arrangements for e-payment/digital platforms by March, 2017. The State education department has roped-in nearly 1,78,000 students under the National Service Scheme (NSS), to reach out to 18,000 villages of the State for spreading awareness about the digital payment systems. These students are trained under the guidance of banks like State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Dena Bank to educate people on digital and mobile modes of financial transactions.

The students will provide understanding to the villagers and rural shop owners on the bill payment through mobile, bank card, point of sale, e-wallet, pre-paid cards, debit or credit cards, internet banking, mobile banking among others.

Modi’s digital economy move also garnered support from trade bodies such as Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), FICCI and CII besides other industry associations.

Published on December 09, 2016
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