As the demonetization has entered Day 23, the government has formed a panel to push its agenda for a cashless economy. Moreover, the government has withdrawn exemptions where it allowed use of old currency notes in select transactions.
Chief Ministers Panel to Steer India’s Cashless Push
The government has formed a high-level panel to design a blueprint for India’s transition into a cashless economy in the next one year.
The panel will be led by Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu, accompanied by five other CMs and Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog and former UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani.
The five Chief Ministers on the panel include Naveen Patnaik of Odisha (Biju Janata Dal), V. Narayanasamy of Puducherry (Congress), Pawan Kumar Chamling of Sikkim (Sikkim Democratic Front) and Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh (BJP) and Devendra Fadnavis of Maharashtra (BJP).
The selection of CMs from a wide range of political parties indicate that the Modi-government is try to gain consensus and capitalize on the momentum to push its drive for a cashless economy.
Govt has Withdrawn Exemptions on Banned Notes Before Dec 15
The government has withdrawn exemptions on banned notes which were supposed to accepted at select places such as petrol pumps and airport until December 15.
As per the new announcement, old Rs. 500 notes will not be accepted at petrol pumps or airport after Dec 2.
Even as the government had allowed use of old currency notes in select transactions until December 15, it has withdrawn exemptions in order to ensure smooth circulation of the new notes.
The government believes such exempted transactions is blocking the new currency from reaching the banks as people are using the old currency notes at petrol pumps just to exchange them into new currency notes.
The government says the RBI is ready to meet the increasing demand as the Pay Day starting from Wednesday. The RBI sources said they were ready to release excess cash for the next five-six days to ensure banks are able to meet the demand of their salaried customers.
Mukesh Ambani Launches Jio Money
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has launched Jio Money, an e-wallet merchant solution that will offer small businesses an option to accept payments from their customers digitally. The announcement came on the heels of demonetization which has forced people across the country to start using digital wallets such as Paytm and Freecharge.
Apart from the launch of Jio Money, he also announced the extension of the Jio network free offers until 31st of March, 2017. Earlier this year, the company had hinted at extending the free services to its 40-million strong customer base. However, as per reports by The Economics Times, the Reliance Jio might miss out on its target of achieving 100-million subscribers by Dec-end following demonetization.