At Telangana’s vegetable markets, new currency is tokens for Rs 5, Rs 10 or Rs 20

With smaller denomination notes hard to come by post demonetisation, the Telangana State Marketing Department has begun an experiment to replace cash with tokens.

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad | Updated: November 22, 2016 7:21 am
demonetisation, telangana demonetisation, Rythu bazaars, Rythu bazaars telangana, vegetable markets telangana, IDFC, cash payments, telangana news, india news People collect tokens from an IDFC counter that will allow them to buy vegetables at the Rythu bazaar. (Source: Express photo)

Anyone who has an Aadhar-linked bank account can now buy vegetables without currency at Rythu bazaars (government-sanctioned farmers’ markets) in Telangana. With smaller denomination notes hard to come by post demonetisation, the Telangana State Marketing Department has begun an experiment to replace cash with tokens that can be used at the vegetable markets.

The tokens, in denominations of Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 20, are available at mobile counters being set up by the Industrial Development Financial Corporation (IDFC) at various markets and other locations. The IDFC counters have hand-held machines connected to servers of all banks, and a small mobile ATM machine that can hold up to Rs 25,000 in cash.

Those seeking the tokens have to provide their Aadhar numbers, which are fed into the hand-held machines, which then authenticates credentials and the bank account linked to that number through a fingerprint scan. Once cleared, a customer can take tokens worth a maximum of Rs 500, which would be deducted from the bank account. Customers will receive a text message on their mobile phones from their banks, notifying them of the transaction.

Farmers, vegetable sellers or vendors who accept the tokens in lieu of cash can deposit them at IDFC counters at the end of the day, which will then credit their bank accounts with an equal amount.

“The IDFC mobile ATMs linked to the hand-held machines can also dispense cash to those depositing the tokens. For instance, if a farmer or vendor wants some of the amount in cash and the rest to be deposited in the bank account, it can be done,” Telangana Marketing and Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao said. The IDFC agents facilitating these transactions receive a commission from the banks.

The experiment was started at the Kukatpally Rythu Bazar Friday afternoon but the response was initially slack as many buyers and vendors could not remember their Aadhar numbers. It has since picked up.“

“Due to lack of awareness, only 85 transactions happened Friday but today, over a 100 people availed coupons within an hour. Buyers are happy and farmers, who were suffering from a slump in sales and lack of cash in hand, are ecstatic. We are fine-tuning it now,” director of agriculture marketing G Lakshmi said.

With hundreds queued up to buy the tokens, stocks of fruits and vegetables that had been lying unsold for several days, were finally seeing buyers.

“I did not have any sales the whole of last week. We threw away a lot of tomatoes and cabbage. Since morning, I have been accepting the tokens after my son brought our Aadhar numbers and they linked it at the counter. We have some 40 tokens so far and so it is good. I will encash them in the evening,” said Nalla Sriramulu, a farmer from Sangareddy.

Health Minister C Laxma Reddy has requested the IDFC to start their counters at government hospitals immediately. The counters are expected to be operational at the hospitals from Wednesday.

Officials said that due to uncertainty over when the cash crisis will ease, the Telangana government has decided to start the token payment system. “It will be introduced at various places in the coming days to help businessmen, contractors and others to pay daily wagers, labourers, and staff,” an official said.

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First Published on: November 22, 2016 1:04 am
  1. M
    MyTake
    Nov 22, 2016 at 1:59 am
    Some thing similar to PayPal or PayPal itself can take significant loads of the system!
    Reply
    1. M
      MyTake
      Nov 22, 2016 at 1:56 am
      This is one step closer to cashless dealings!
      Reply
      1. M
        MyTake
        Nov 22, 2016 at 1:55 am
        Very smart idea.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Necessity, indeed is the mother of inventions!
        Reply
        1. B
          Binu Mathew Varghese
          Nov 22, 2016 at 1:12 am
          Good initiative and to be followed in many fields pan India to manage the crunch due to demonetisation
          Reply
          1. S
            sunil
            Nov 22, 2016 at 12:58 pm
            KCR is big copy cat it was started by vijana garam collector in Andhra , he immediately copied it even after division he always vries on Andhra people and does what they did plz leave poor state atleast now.
            Reply
            1. D
              david
              Nov 22, 2016 at 4:08 am
              Superb experiment by telangana govt, and thnx IE for this news.
              Reply
              1. I
                Indian..
                Nov 22, 2016 at 3:24 am
                Now this is what i call inventionlt;br/gt;Way to go India
                Reply
                1. N
                  Niladrinath Mohanty
                  Nov 22, 2016 at 4:02 am
                  Good idea to introduce cashless transaction. But what puzzles me how the small changes like coins, ten andfifty rupee notes( five rupee notes had become rare perhaps irrelevant due to inflation) have become scarce. Demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupee notes cannot be cause. There is more to it than what meets the eye.
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    Vihari Naidu
                    Nov 22, 2016 at 4:24 am
                    Novel experiment but more than 600 million people in India don't have debit cards like the urban upper middle cl. How could they buy food ? And why would anyone with a debit or credit card go to Rythu bazar ? Don't they go to a Reliance or Spencers retail shop which also has a swiping machine.
                    Reply
                    1. V
                      Vihari Naidu
                      Nov 22, 2016 at 4:15 am
                      Yes, it's a conspiracy called Tughlaq decision.
                      Reply
                      1. J
                        Jaspal Singh
                        Nov 22, 2016 at 3:02 am
                        Even elsewhere, customers ask bearers to keep the change. Shopkeepers give you lolly pops and biscuits for children. Payment in kind can give way to payment in cash. In Fiji, whale teeth has been used as currency. Cashiers in a medical college canteen do not expect students to pay for their cups of tea there and then. They know that they will get a 100 dollars note as a free gift when the same student happens to visit his old college after getting a job in USA.
                        Reply
                        1. K
                          Kabir Singh
                          Nov 21, 2016 at 8:48 pm
                          Great going IDFClt;br/gt;Sooner you will make a name for yourself
                          Reply
                          1. X
                            xyz
                            Nov 21, 2016 at 10:30 pm
                            This is the worst possible scenario. Tokens replacing cash.
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              sk
                              Nov 21, 2016 at 10:41 pm
                              Good initiative that other states facing cash crunch should follow. Cash crunch will continue for a few months because feku has bungled demonetization. Every day new rules are being announced.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Shrav
                                Nov 22, 2016 at 9:50 pm
                                Cbn copied harithaharam , granajothi, few tanks like mission kakatiya , even during election rallies promised loan waivers but failed all these.. point is implementation and your leader doesn't communicate with people. Rather gives contracts to your own leaders..
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  ABC
                                  Nov 22, 2016 at 3:54 am
                                  Excellent idea
                                  Reply
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