Thursday, November 09, 2017

Cash is back in Maharashtra’s first ‘cashless village’

About 100 km from Mumbai, three men walked into a small shop, Nagneshi Metal General Stores, Wednesday afternoon, asking for plastic glasses in bulk. One of them took out a fat wad of currency notes. Hesitating a moment before handing over the cash to the shopkeeper, the man feebly asked, “You don’t have a swipe machine, do you?”
Mukund Singh, sitting at the till, shook his head. “The card machine has gone for repairs. It has been almost two months,” he said.
The conversation took place in Dhasai, which the Maharashtra government recognised as the state’s first ‘cashless village’ in December last year in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a cashless economy after demonetisation. State finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar declared the village cashless at a grand function, praising it for taking the huge step despite there being no specific government regulation imposing a cashless economy. He also set out a vision of taking steps towards making the entire state cashless.
Singh, the shopkeeper at Nagneshi Metal, said, “The enthusiasm lasted for a maximum of two or three months. Now, out of a hundred customers only about 10 ask for a card machine. Earlier, immediately after declaring the village cashless, nearly 80 per cent of our transactions used to be through cards. Our machine broke down and it has been two months since we sent it for repairing. We aren’t really bothering about it because anyway it is hardly used now.” Full story...

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