Union Minister (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal, addressed a gathering comprising of the trader fraternity at the Less-Cash India Summit here today. He encouraged them to partner with the Government to embrace the demonetisation drive as a positive step aimed to root out corruption and unaccounted wealth from the economy. The Minister emphasized that there will be short-term pain but the people of India have shown tremendous support for a step that ensures long term gains for everyone.Shri Goyal said that demonetisation is a path breaking decision that will bring a change in the way people think and work as it makes the honest feel respected for the first time. It was an idea whose time had come and it is being executed in a planned manner. Hence the people need not believe the naysayers and rather support the Government in its efforts on bringing about a corruption free society, the Minister added.Elaborating on the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of a ‘Digital India’, Shri Goyal said that ATMs are a thing of the past and India is set to embrace a digital, cashless economy in the near future.
He added that the Government believes that each trader, whether small or big, would have a Point of Sale (PoS) machine which would eventually bring each transaction into the formal economy very soon. Further, mobile phones would take over as the PoS machines for the common man in day to day transactions based on their Aadhar numbers, he added.Goyal appealed to the businessmen and traders across the country to augment the efforts of the Government to ensure equality of opportunity and bringing in Ease of Business by removing unfair competition in the economy. For this, the Minister said, Demonetisation and foundation of a ‘Less-Cash economy’ is the basic and an inalienable step that the Government has taken.Bringing all the commercial activities under a transparent taxation system would end harassment of the trading community by tax officials, on one hand, and boost the formal economy due to increased liquidity in the banking system, on the other, the Minister added.
Shri Goyal appreciated the enthusiasm shown by the Confederation of All India Traders in submitting valuable suggestions to Government on taking steps to minimize transaction costs in businesses, incentivising increased use of digital transactions by traders etc. He assured the gathering that the Government is already reviewing the nuances of these issues and soon there would be decisions taken over them.During his address, the Minister also complimented the efforts of various digital payment platforms in conducting training sessions and awareness campaigns for the masses on attributes of the digital economy and the benefits of doing transactions digitally. Shri Goyal noted that there are around 80 crore debit and credit cards in India and a sizeable population has started accepting online payment modes like RBI’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI), mobile wallets etc. It is high time that the trading community takes a plunge in this positive change, he said.Shri Goyal also gave a call to the media to make constructive efforts to increase awareness of the common man about shifting towards a ‘Less-Cash Economy’.