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Arun Jaitley bats for cashless economy in Bangladesh

Jaitley, who is on a three-day visit to Bangladesh, inaugurated a cashless service at India's visa application centres in Dhaka's Shyamoli and Sylhet localties. He encouraged other countries to follow India's footsteps in pushing for a less cash-based economy.

By: PTI | Dhaka | Published: October 4, 2017 6:41 pm
arun jaitley, bangladesh, india, india bangladesh line of credit, jaitley bangladesh visit, india bangladesh credit, indian express, world news Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI Photo 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Wednesday encouraged developing countries to emulate India’s initiatives towards a less cash-based economy, saying excessive cash harms the poor, supports corruption and leads to terror activities. Jaitley, who is on a three-day visit to Bangladesh, inaugurated a cashless service at India’s visa application centres in Dhaka’s Shyamoli and Sylhet localties before announcing that it would now be available at all 12 Indian visa application centres across the country.

“If the economy depends mostly on cash, the curse of cash hits you,” Jaitley said during a talk at a hotel here.

“Cash leads to corruption and tax evasion. Excessive cash operates against the poor. A lot of terror activity thrives on cash,” bdnews24 quoted him as saying. Jaitley encouraged other countries to follow in India’s footsteps in pushing for a less cash-based economy. “Our roots are of common origin and so a lot of challenges are common in nature,” Jaitley said.

He also narrated a story on the success of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, a flagship project on financial inclusion. “One of the great challenges the Indian economy always faced was that it was cash-centric,” Jaitley said.

He said since the first day in office, the government has taken initiatives to drive India in the direction of making the economy less cash-based, the report said.

“In 2014, we discovered that although we had a very large banking network in India, only 58 per cent of Indians or Indian families are connected to the banking system,” he said, adding that it means 42 per cent of the population was completely outside financial inclusion.

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“Therefore, the very first challenge before the government was how to bring them into the banking network. These are the people in rural areas, these are the people in tribal areas, these are the people in geographically remote areas. There were people who came from parts of central India which were impacted by left-wing extremism,” Jaitley said.

In the days that followed, the Modi administration launched a mission to visit every house, every family. Banking correspondents and representatives visited every home, enabling India to open 300 million bank accounts in both rural and urban areas in three years, he said. The progress was impressive, but a new challenge loomed: the majority of the accounts had zero balance, he said.

“So the rules were amended to allow account holders to have zero balance,” Jaitley was quoted as saying.

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  1. B
    Oct 4, 2017 at 8:28 pm
    Sir, please spare the Bangladeshis. Only a fool will accept your arguments on Cashless economy after the mess that you have done with Indian economy. It seems that there is no sync between the PM and FM. On one hand the PM is accepting that the growth has slowed and on the other side of the border his chela is batting for cashless economy.
    1. A
      Oct 4, 2017 at 8:27 pm
      Should we go for BJP in the upcoming state assembly elections is the question. We the people of India need to look at the political parties other than BJP or Congress, and the yardstick should be the degree of sincerity they put in to achieve ground results, we should refrain from being easily wooed by their rhetorics and all goodwill talks while focussing only on whether what they claim to have achieved is genuinely useful and beneficial for all.
      1. V
        Oct 4, 2017 at 7:49 pm
        A Jhootly is not satisfied messing up India's growth story. Now wants to mess up neighbours too but Bangladeshis are too smart to fall for Jhoothly's nonsense.
        1. I
          Oct 4, 2017 at 7:47 pm
          This cashless is costing me more everywhere. The s are taking service charge while payment. Why I should pay RS.10 extra for my cable payment Rs.350? Loot machi Hai..
          1. T
            Oct 4, 2017 at 7:29 pm
            😂😂😂Bunch of Jokers’ Party——That is BJP led by Feku,Fatty,Frogi,Jhootley and the rest of Mandali !!!
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