UT ADMINISTRATOR V P Singh Badnore on Sunday announced that Chandigarh residents would soon be provided cashless facilities at every point. Badnore, in an interaction with mediapersons, said that the administration would invite suggestions from the public to go cashless and also depute some volunteers who would educate people in villages how to make payments through mobile phones.
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“We will soon have meetings with principals of colleges and schools on this. Volunteers would be sent to the villages not just to educate the people on how to use it but also motivate them to become a cashless society,” Badnore said.
Referring to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement that Goa would become the first cashless society in India, the Administrator asked why Chandigarh, a city excelling in every field, couldn’t be made a cashless society.
“Nowadays everybody is mobile-savvy,” Badnore said. “So why not encourage everybody to make payments through cashless facilities?” Badnore directed UT Adviser Parimal Rai and Deputy Commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi to chalk out plans on going cashless. Although the administration has introduced card-swipe machines at apni mandis and kisan mandis, farmers are reluctant to use them.
Adviser Rai said, “Not only do we need ideas on its implementation but we also need total support of citizens in Chandigarh to be able to lead the country towards this goal of absolute monetary transparency.”
Chandigarh traders said that to encourage payments through point of sale (PoS) machines, the government would have to direct the banks to lower the bank charge which the trader has to pay on every sale. The trader has to pay 2 per cent on every sale through PoS machine. “Even a trader wants payment in cash from the customer as their profit lessens if the payment is through PoS machine because of the bank charge on every sale,” said Anil Vohra, president of Chandigarh Beopar Mandal.
Badnore said that the administration would install LED lights in the entire city on a sharing pattern. However, he said an announcement in this regard would be made after the Municipal Corporation elections.
The Administrator said that they would introduce tablets in government schools and talks were on with Canadian representatives. After the introduction of tablets, students would not need to get books or bags to the school. “The curriculum will be there on the tablets. Talks are on,” he said.