India’s so called 2017 resolution i.e. cashless economy. Is it really a possibility or just a way to lure youngsters comprising 65% of India’s population in the name of growth and development? Many ways have been suggested for making it possible in India like NUUP registration in ATM for feature phones as everyone do not carry a Smartphone, Pradhan mantri jan dhan yojna with zero balance facility, online discounts, reward points on credit card and many more.
And the positive outcome of this move as said by our incumbent government and people is to curb out the black money, to bring most of our economy under accountability, to eliminate concept of fake currency, to attract foreign investors to the country, lower pocket-picking rates and to avoid cash expenditure in its printing. According to data from RBI using Right to information in 2012,
“It cost the central bank Rs. 3,917 crore to print the 1,567 crore Rs. 500 notes in circulation, and Rs. 2,000 crore to print the 632 crore Rs. 1,000 notes.”
Now, let’s have another perspective of this notion, percentage of rural area in India is 68.84% which includes mostly people who are unaware of technological advances in our country. In addition to it, there is lack of infrastructure like internet access and power, security threats and loss of reality i.e. Cashless users are more vulnerable for overspending. Some big corporations take advantages of that, like DTV.
Apart from cash being a wireless technology with near-infinite battery life, and one that needs no telecom connectivity, it is its inherent anonymity that makes it a very valuable instrument.
We can also say, that there is no established one-one relation between being cashless and having a corruption free country as Germany with a CPI ( corruption perception index) score of 81 is a cash-intensive economy whereas Kenya is an intensely cashless economy with a pathetic CPI score of 25. Whether going cashless will be beneficial to an economy, well it is determined by the socioeconomic condition of a state. It should evolve from within the structural set up of an economy. For countries such as Canada or France this movement has been gradual and was not imposed upon. Hence it has been beneficial. However, for Indian Economy, where literacy is still a problem, with the ASER(Annual Status of Education Report) reporting that 50.5% of class 5 students fail to perform a standard two subtraction and we call India 74.04% literate. Quite hilarious. Plus, the sole purpose for cards in India is to withdraw cash. Changing this mindset will be an uphill task.
We really need to understand our country first.
India is the country, which has been through all thick and thin whether it’s Mughals or Britishers. We have adapted in worse conditions , for that matter slavery too! And today is the time to face these internal challenges for our country’s betterment. We our emerging out as one of the world’s supreme power as today India is the software capital in whole world, it supports 70% export of spices in international markets, have world highest FDI i.e. $31 million followed by China($27 million) and USA($26 million).But with 68.84% rural area and namesake 74.04% of literacy rate, is it really possible?
Well, an answer to the above question is still debatable but as it is said,
“Where there’s a will there’s a way.”