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With the Centre aggressively pushing for a cashless economy, the state government is working on several measures to bridge the gap between urban and rural banking. Nearly 2 lakh volunteers are being deployed across urban and rural Maharashtra to study and suggest reforms in individual sectors to align them with a cashless economy. Eventually, the government feels, the farm sector, rural industries and village markets need to embrace cashless operations.
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To begin with, directives have been issued to district collectors to register 76 lakh people who are in the non-banking sector to open individual accounts. It includes 48 lakh people in rural areas and 26 lakh people in urban areas. The total population of the state is 11.23 crore.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has held discussions with officials from the RBI, Union finance ministry, DCCBs, national banks and Niti Aayog on the various modules that can be explored to move to cashless transactions.
While acknowledging it is a formidable task, the government has set a target to bring at least 50 per cent transactions into cashless mode. The government believes the biggest beneficiary of cashless transactions would be small and medium farmers, labourers, vegetable venders, small retailers and traders, micro and medium small-scale industries and women bachatgats.
Efforts are also underway to bring the entire cooperative network in the state online. It would include DCCBs, cooperative dairies, sugar cooperatives, APMCs, etc.
The process of direct subsidy transfer benefit to farmers has yielded good response.