Days back UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore announced the drive to make Chandigarh country’s first cashless city by December 10, 2016.
Let’s see what it all entails and what steps have been taken to reach the target.
What Does a Cashless Society Mean?
Pursuant to PM Modi’s pitch for turning India into a cashless society, state government like Goa and UT Chandigarh came forward to make it a reality. Being a cashless society, simply means the usage of paper currency is going to be reduced to almost nil. Every business and non-business transactions will be done digitally, using e-wallets, plastic money or e-banking or mobile banking. This will make everything transparent. Every transaction can be traced, hence strikes down any chance of corruption and building up unaccounted money.
Is There Any Other Cashless Economy in the World?
The idea of cashless economies has been around for decades. Sweden, the leader in cashless transactions, started its cashless journey in the 1960s. According to a 2015 report of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), banknotes and coins account for:
- Sweden: Only 2.12 per cent of the GDP
- U.K.: 3.64 per cent of the GDP
- Canada: 3.8 per cent of the GDP
- Brazil: 4.01 per cent of the GDP
What Chandiagrh Administration is Doing to Meet the Deadline?
To meet the target, every department of the Chandigarh administration has pulled up its socks for the changed course of business transaction in the days ahead.
- Training camps are being held by senior banking officials to train the administrative staff to use e-banking and banks mobile apps to make payments.
- First line bankers have been to directed to never decline any new request of opening bank account. Banks have been asked to provide micro ATMs, swipe machines, pre-paid cards and other cards available to users and also start a campaign to make people aware of e-banking and mobile banking.
- Card swipe machines have already been provided to apni mandis and kisan mandis.
- Sampark Centres are equipped with card swipe machines to accept payment of electricity and water bills and. Other modes of online payments have also been made available.
- Chandigarh administrative officials have been directed to ensure that all payments in their respective departments are made only through the UPI app or credit or debit cards.
- RLA (Registration and Licensing Authority) office in Sector 17 Chandigarh will also not accept any cash payments from people.
- Municipal Corporation, Transport Department, Excise & Taxation Department, Estate Office are on their way to go cashless too.
- Cashless facilities have been provided in Sector 17 and Grain Market in Sector 26. Traders have been requested to encourage their customers to opt for cashless mode. However, none should not be forced to make payments through cashless mode. The administration wants to make the transitions a smooth process.
- Chandigarh Housing Board has started accepting payments only through online payment via netbanking or payments by credit or debit cards through swipe machines, cheques, demand draft, bankers cheque or through Paytm.
- Employers have been urged to transfer the salaries directly to the employees accounts.
- Mega drive to create awareness regarding the cashless transaction for vendors, small shop owners and the public has been started.
- The fee of online payment is to be abolished. Currently, people are charged for every online transaction.
- Private schools in Chandigarh have agreed to switch to cashless mode for all types of receipts and payments in near future. Selected teachers and students from each school will be imparted training from financial experts from various banks in this regard so that they could disseminate the message to the society.
- The Chandigarh Administration is considering launching a common card on the pattern of the Metro card in the city to enable residents to use it for their daily needs. Residents can recharge the card as per their requirement. The card can be used in buses, at parking places, in taxis and for buying vegetables and other such purposes.
Many more changes are in the offing. Keep yourself ready for a changed Chandigarh.
It’s time we all turn financially literate and help others around us in learning the new ways of cashless society. Participate in a big way and make your contribution in adding yet another feather in our cap.
Chandigarh: India’s first cashless city! Sounds amazing, isn’t it?
Image Credits: Google Images
News Source: Times of India, The Tribune, The Indian Express, Economic Times, The Hindu