Reduce Printing of Currency Notes and Boost Digital Transactions for Next Generation Reforms

A constitution bench of the Supreme Court of India is engaged in hearing many petitions filed against the demonetisation of the currency notes of Rs 500 and 1000 denominations. One thing is clear the outcome of these petitions will be definitely infructuous at the cost of a huge judicial time. There is no denying that demonetisation largely curbed the flow of black money. Be that as it may, demonetisation has given a great push to the digitalisation of payments. The Narendra Modi government must be credited to have incentivised and encouraging the Apps like GPay, Payfone and Bhim etc. One can move around without carrying cash. It is the swiftest mode of receiving and making payments without any hassle.
Think of those days when a term was used by the newspapers like ‘money order economy ’. It was very cumbersome and a delaying mode of remittance. The Post offices used to tell at the very outset that any complaint for non-delivery of the money ordered amount would be accepted or entertained only a month after its remittance and not before that. In my university days when I was in Hostel, once I had to wait for the
money ordered amount for more than a month, which in any case was very paltry. One can easily understand the predicament of a student coming from a lower middle-class farmer’s family, who had to wait for a month to get the money in order to meet the expenses. Similarly, once, I had to send a money order for some amount to my village and it was not delivered for more than a month. In those days one had to pay at least 5% of the remitted amount. Apart from it, the delivery postman used to demand a certain percentage as a Baksheesh from the receiver of the money order.
Even a decade ago, cheques could not be sent because everybody was not having a bank account. Even if both- sender and receiver had bank accounts, it could be sent by the registered posts and the crediting bank also charged for the cheque clearance. If it was an outstation cheque from a different bank, the time taken used to be weeks together. Now within seconds, the money is transferred from one account to another and that too, without any payment remittance charges. Thankfully, one of the first revolutionary measures that were taken by the Prime Minister was to get a zero-balance account for even the poorest of poor people. There was no dearth of sadists who made fun of the zero-balance accounts. In this festive season of Deepawali, one can do shopping for even a tiny amount with the help of Paytm or Gpay, thanks to the boost given to technology by the Modi government, which was unthinkable only a couple of years ago.
Now the need is to go to the next generation of reforms to allow only the bare minimum use of cash transactions. This will help wipe out the black money to a large extent. The next step will be to drastically cut the printing of currency notes. Maximum use of digital transactions will prove to be the last nail in the coffin of black money. So, what could not be achieved with all strict measures, can be easily got by technology. Those who say that in a diverse country where a large populace is still unknown of the use of technology, it would be too much for them to expect to completely renounce the currency notes and adopt a digital mode of transactions. Such doomsayers are totally mistaken. They were expressing the same and similar doubts about the increased use of the Internet and mobile phones, but they have been proved to be pathetically wrong.