PUSHING TO promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a cashless economy, the BJP government in Haryana has ordered its employees to make at least one digital transaction within the next seven days from their mobile phones and submit “certificates” of compliance.
Employees associations, however, have condemned the order and said that the government cannot force them to make online payments.
The order states that the “state government is giving thrust to promote the usage of less-cash/ digital economy and encourage people as well as government officials to use bank apps like SBI Buddy, USSD and Unified Payment Interface system”.
It says that all “officers/incharges will personally download the app on their mobile phones and do at least one transaction within seven days”.
The order also states that officers, including those in field offices, will enrol, train and assist their household helps and personal staff in the office to download the app on their mobile phones.
The government has appointed two nodal officers to whom each department will hand over proof of compliance submitted by employees. Camps are to be held with the help of banks to training employees on how to make digital transactions.
The order was issued on December 2 and the date of compliance has been given as December 9, but it’s yet to be implemented because not all departments have received the directive.
An official in the state’s education department said they were yet to begin training employees in cashless transactions.
The decision is expected to impact 2.35 lakh employees in the state.
“If the government had to take such a decision, the representatives of employees should have been taken into confidence. The government is not giving any allowance to purchase smart phones or internet connections. Not all employees have these. We have registered our protest on the issue,” said S K Lamba, general secretary, Haryana Power union.
Over the last few weeks, the Haryana government has taken several steps to go cashless. Administrative secretaries have been allotted different districts where they were required to train people from different sections in digital transactions.
“Around 15 to 20 days ago, the Chief Minister took the initiative to prioritise digital transactions. In all districts, traffic challans can now be paid digitally. We have called for a few hundred machines where you can swipe cards and pay money. The idea is to move towards plastic payments,” said Bhupeshwar Dayal, OSD to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
According to Dharambir, general secretary, Haryana Roadways Workers Union, “We have been told that the government has issued such an order, though we have not yet been instructed to make digital payments. It is not a feasible option as many employees do not have smart phones. Network is a problem, too.”