This is official now. And this is big.
Goa, the land of magical beaches and relaxed ambiance will be soon leading the cashless mission of India. Effective December 31, 2016, Goa would become India’s first cashless state.
This doesn’t mean that cash would be banned in the state, but more encouragement and push would be provided for its citizens, traders, merchants and businesses to go cashless.
Infact, a major educational drive has already been started, whose aim is to educate everyone about the advantages and positives of going cashless. Starting this week, small businesses and local population from Mapusa and Panaji have been receiving training sessions on how to carry on their life with cashless economy.
Last week, during a rally at Sankhali, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said, “One thing we decided is that whenever India becomes a cashless society, Goa will become the first. We have to support the prime minister’s dream”.
And earlier this week, Goa Chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar had declared that for all cashless transactions happening in the state, there shall be no additional service charge.
How Will It Work?
State Govt. has issued a code: *99#, which can be used by one and all to buy anything from anyone. Once the amount, and the last few digits of the account number is used with this code, the transaction is completed.
Chief Secretary R K Srivastava said, “The money on purchases will be debited to the person’s bank account,”
This code has been especially generated to help those vendors and small merchants, who can’t afford a smartphone or a card swipe machine to accept payments. Hence, using this payment code and subsequent instructions, any person in Goa can shop any product or service.
Srivastava added, “Everybody should have an account, card and the account should have money..”
Details are not yet clear, but Govt. of Goa is also attempting to spread the usage of UPI based payments to every citizen inside the state. Along with *99# MMID code, UPI can be used extensively for propagating cashless economy in the state.
But is it realistic and practical?
Goans Says Cashless Is Not Practical As Of Now
Meanwhile, we asked few Goans what they think about the move by State Govt. to declare Goa as cashless society.
Asha Chaudhry, who shifted her base to Goa from Fiji, and has been living here since 2007, expressed her doubts in a candid way. She sounded quite doubtful, as she said that her cook doesn’t have a bank account, and how will she manage?
She said, “While the idea of going cashless is great, it might not be feasible or practical for all. My cook doesn’t even have a bank account so I will be forced to pay her in cash. Kamat – one of the places in Panjim to grab an idli, doesn’t have a swipe machine. The owner claims, “Apply kiya hai, par time lagega”. Basil, our fave little café doesn’t have a swipe machine either. The owner has been told, “They’re overloaded with requests so it will take time…”. Our friendly stationery man accepts only cash as well. Tourist season is setting in and all of our shacks definitely don’t accept cards. So I honestly think it’ll take time for Goa to become cashless.”
Amrit Vatsa, an IITian, photographer and story teller from Goa has been staying here since last 5 years. As per him, the move is good, but the results depends on its execution.For instance, in the case of public transport, passengers still heavily use cash in Goa.
He said, “I welcome the move. Cash transactions are obviously not being removed completely but this certainly is an advantage. However I would like to mention about the public transport scenario in goa. Because there is no uber or ola available, we have to have bigger cash on hand. Cashless translations even for cabs would be awesome for localities and tourists.”
Doubts remain, as the recent demonetization move has shaken up the economics of a cash-dependent country. However, there are some examples such as Akodara village in Gujarat, where cashless economy is working like a charm.
It would be really interesting to see how Goa, a state which has 15 lakh people but 17 lakh mobile connections respond to the call of cashless – Can it become a standard for all states in India? Or will it bring more chaos and confusion?
Do share your views by commenting right here!
Image Source: Goantravels dot com