Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Demonetization & Cashless India? I'm Hopeful; are you? #ILNopinion

It has become a fashion for some news channels in India and also for the opposition to oppose the policies made by the ruling party; yes, for the sake of 'opposing' it and letting the people know 'yes, we are active in politics, not politically dead yet'. Remember, I am talking about the political parties in toto. I am not including any specific or excluding any particular; I am being truly unbiased like Rabish is in the Hindi journalism. Then, as the Congress in India don't allow anyone to talk about the country as they have not fought for its independence, we youths, at least, should be pardoned with rights to talk about our country's policies. Yes, Rahul ji, because we are born in a free India like you (surely not of rich parents like yours), we must have the right to discuss matters of public interest in the public as well as on digital platforms. The Congress people should not allege that all those who are pro-government are the paid trolls of the BJP.

Now coming to the point, we have been dealing with this demonetization for more than 40 days now. To be more specific, 42 days have passed. Are you in trouble? Is he in trouble? Are they in a panic? Is she crying? Are they dead? Except on the social media and mainstream media, on the ground, I did not find any of such adverse incidents (or accidents). I am living in a suburb now and we have at least 50 bank branches. All of those were functioning smoothly right from the day one of the working days when after 'notebandi' bank started again. Yes, there were lines, longer ones and there are lines too, much shorter now. ATMs were functioning so far so good; some of those were not operational and some of those operated thoroughly. The market was a little slow to catch pace in the early days and now, if you come and see, you will see that it has been smooth and flowing once again! 30 percent of the shops were receiving digital payments and now it has almost gone to 40% and it'd increase with the passing days.

Yes, the most anticipated question - are people happy? I am happy; my family is happy; people around me are happy! Who is sad? Who is worried? I will tell you. Few of the practicing doctors have been caught red-handed trying to convert their black money into white (pink) by several means. Few of the fat-shop owners were frustrated. Moreover, there were also the college and university officials who were worried because of this sudden strike. One of the wardens of a university in Bihar was also worried for his accumulated wealth. You'd be surprised to know that a warden who earns 30 thousand a month had 3 SUVs and at least 4-5 buildings! And there is no worry at all if he gets worried about this decision by PM Modi; in fact, he must be (and everyone like him) worried. The top most person in my state - Nitish Kumar, the CM of Bihar is happy and has been echoing his agreement with the decision of the PM since the day one.

 

Yet another question of importance is where are we heading now? Will there ever be a cashless economy in India? Can we even make our country a less-cash economy? The answer is YES; we can surely become a less-cash economy and then a lesser-cash economy and then eventually a cash-less economy. This is, never, never, going to be easy, however. Nevertheless, when India became independent, the world did never assume that we could even manage on our own for a decade! Most of the Congressmen would remember that very well as they have ruled the country in those early years. I am very surprised as well as amused when economists and intellectuals omit their harassing outputs daily in the newspapers and also on the electronic media. This Sunday only, I read almost a comedian saying that India can never become a cashless country. 'Never' is a word that has always been the strongest defence of the people with a regressive mindset; I believe that and I hope most of the readers would stand up behind me in an agreement. Not a recent, rather an old study conducted by MasterCard back in 2013 reveals very progressive facts and I request you all to study it closely. Here is the link: http://newsroom.mastercard.com/press-releases/mastercard-study-reveals-the-rapidly-growing-cashless-economies/

 

You must have found that in the year 2011, out of $ 63 trillion total spends by the consumers across the world, 66%, that is, $ 44 trillion was made by digital mediums! Rest you must have studied in the report itself. Before 1991 (when the 'long run' started in India) we did never imagine that laptops, tablets and i-pads will replace the long pile of files in our banks and government offices - we have done it. This is the country with a great population of youth and the next 3-4 decades are going to be ours! This is the opportunity for us to make our country clean, not only physically, but also clean the mess that we have made of our system. We are already purchasing from Amazon and Flipkart. Why not become completely digital? Yes, WE CAN!

 

And the political connotations may be many. I am not falling for that horse race. However, I will take the liberty and praise our PM Narendra Modi for his bold decision which the so-called iron lady Indira Gandhi could not make. She feared her elections and Modi cares for the country's future. Let's make India cashless; let's build our future great!

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