PM Modi asks people to adopt m-payments; sets up panel.
Hyderabad: Despite the government citing curbing black money, ending corruption or choking terror funds as reasons for scrapping high value bank notes, the main purpose of the shock-and-awe demonetisation drive appears to be aimed at nudging the people to go cashless.
On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself led the government’s efforts to encourage people to opt for cashless transactions, while finance minister Arun Jaitley revealing in Parliament the government’s dislike for hard cash.
The Union Cabinet too asked all departments to switch to online payments completely and set up a panel to suggest ways to promote cashless transactions in the country.
“I want to seek your support. Your mobile phone is not only a mobile phone, (but) you can convert it into your own bank and wallet. If you don't have one rupee cash, even then today the technology is such that if you have money in your bank account, you can shop in the market and make payments through mobile and also you can run your business without touching cash,” Mr Modi said addressing a public meeting in Bathinda in Punjab.
On Thursday, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had criticised the manner demonetisation was implemented. “I would like to know from the Prime Minister the names of any countries he may think of where people have deposited their money in banks but are not allowed to withdraw their money,” Dr Singh had asked Mr Modi in the Rajya Sabha.
In an apparent reference to Dr Singh’s speech, the Prime Minister said, “Everyone has right to use his or her money. And no one stops them. (But) it is not necessary you should have cash as one can spend using digital technology also.”
“Shopping through mobile is simple just like sending a Whatsapp message,” Mr Modi said, stressing on promoting use of technology in transactions to bring transparency.
He said the number of mobiles is four times the number of families and people should use their mobiles to make payments. “You can download mobile applications provided by banks on your phones. And I want to urge political leaders, teachers, to give training to people on mobile banking,” he said. NPCI had recently launched UPI to promote seamless cashless transactions.