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The rush for less cash

By Sanjeeb Mukherjee
December 13, 2016 06:55 IST
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Initiatives to convince citizens to go cashless.
Business Standard's Sanjeeb Mukherjee reports.
Illustration: Dominic Xavier/

Illustration: Dominic XavierA little more than a month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to ban Rs 500/Rs 1,000 notes, a look at the government's push towards a digital economy.

Here's a list of the top initiatives that ministries and departments have announced recently, to convince citizens to use plastic or mobile wallets instead of cash:

Finance: Announced up to 10% discounts and other concessions on digital payments for a host of services that included purchasing petrol, booking seasonal tickets in suburban trains, paying premium for LIC policies, etc.

Labour: Proposed amendment to Payment of Wages Act to empower state governments to pay wages through cheques or direct credit into bank accounts.

Urban Development: All local bodies told to ensure all utility payments are made electronically and to go for e-governance.

Electronics and Information Technology: Started a full-fledged 24 hours free-to-air DTH channel called Digishala to educate and inform citizens. A portal called too was launched.

Roads: Arranged for FASTags, allowed e-payment of tolls, digital wallets, etc, in select toll plazas across the country.

Petroleum and Natural Gas: Directed all public-sector OMCs to install point-of-sale devices (PoS) in all petrol pumps across the country and a filling stations have started accepting payments through e-wallets.

Railways: Efforts on to make all passenger ticketing and freight booking cashless.

Food: Work to install PoS devices in ration shops stepped up; electronic payment to FCI labour.

Textiles: Has sent advisories to sectoral export promotion councils to introduce digital payments and app-based transactions on a fixed time line.

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Sanjeeb Mukherjee
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