There are whispers in Jharkhand that the state Chief Minister Raghubar Das follows exactly what the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi does. This is also the reason why the Chief Minister decided to make his state cashless following the Prime Minister’s cashless India announcement. The Chief Minister did announce his decision without any advisory, but maybe he didn’t stop to wonder whether his state can even adopt this system or not.
Half of the Jharkhand’s total population is illiterate, while 46 percent is below poverty line. How can the state readily access the banks when half of the population is starving? The Chief Minister has declared swipe machines and mobile phone costing upto Rs five thousand VAT free, but how many does really have the purchasing power to afford a mobile phone costing as much as five thousand.
Chief Minister , in a rush to lead, started inaugurating the scheme from a small village Nagadi Prakhand near Ranchi. He said, the public has the bank and wallet in their hands now, the entire state will be declared cashless within an year. Now the public doesn’t have to queue outside the banks or keep cash with them. The Minister claimed to make every block of the state, cashless, by the end of this month.
His subordinate officer, Chief Secretary of the state Rajbala Verma and Finance Secretary Amit Khare also recapitulated the same. In order to achieve the goal, the state has directed the mobile network companies to expand their network and broadband service as well as it has asked the educated youngsters to teach at least 10 people around them about this system.
Das is also claiming that Jharkhand will become the first cashless state of the country and bring the corrupt officers and ministers to justice. It can prove quite helpful in the fight against corruption. All the official payment will be made payable online and the government departments will be made paperless to become a corruption free state. But neither the Chief Minister nor the concerned officers seem fretting over how this scheme will come to be.
The state lacks basic facilities like electricity, water, roads and toilets. Over 41 percent of the state rural population still lives under the poverty line. Of the three and a half crore state population, around 1.87 crore are illiterate while most of the rural public consists of seventh passers.
Even in the urban areas, around 57 lakh people are illiterate. Malnutrition, poverty and the lack of basic facilities has shoved the public towards illiteracy. With half of the public starving for food, it’s nothing lesser than a challenge for the state government to establish their proclaimed cashless system.
Cashless system is a completely electronic system that requires basic understanding of Smartphone. And it requires the state to execute a comprehensive awareness campaign throughout as well as further educate its public. The rebellion hit districts also have a significantly fewer number of Bank branches as well as mobile towers in those areas, compromising mobile network services.
E-wallets require a smartphone or computer for any cashless transaction. In the urban areas of the state, around 50 percent of the population doesn’t have either while the number hikes up to 80 percent in rural areas. Amidst all this, the cashless dream of the Chief Minister may eventually prove to be just that.
The state is also lack proper internet connection and electricity. None of the state’s 4459 ‘Panchayats’ has an active broadband service. 21 thousand out of the state’s 32 thousand villages are still not connected to the electricity grid, and that is when 70 percent of the banks are located in the rural areas. The state has 2900 branches of various banks.
Wonder, how the government is planning to enact cashless system. The regional manager of the state’s leading bank, the Bank of India also tells that the connectivity problems in the state are terrible. He said it interrupts the bank course in 30 percent of the bank branches. He believes it is impossible to achieve the dream of cashless Jharkhand without improved connectivity.
The business sector also believes that most of the businesses will struggle with the system at first. Many also doubt it may affect their business. The eminent businessman Arun Saraf believes the businesses have been compromised with a fall as much 50 percent and may further go down.
Jharkhand to be the country’s first cashless state
The Chief Minister of Jharkhand is always leading the news when it comes to announcements and promises. He again led to a controversial announcement following the footsteps of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Chief Minister has started a campaign to make Jharkhand a cashless state.
He has claimed that his state will become the country’s first cashless state, and the scheme is already in play. At least one block of each district is set to become cashless by the end of December 2016. In questions of the idea’s potential, the Chief Minister replies with a statewide awareness campaign by bank officers, government officials and youngsters. It’s also convenient for many people.
Aiding the process, the government has also scraped the VAT on mobile phone up to Rs 5 thousand. The state has also relinquished the 14 percent VAT on swipe machines to promote the use of swipe machines in all business domains. The Chief Minister urged the educated class to use the system and also teach others about it. He believes this is a bold move by the Prime Minister to end corruption.
Referring to the demonetisation and cashless economy, he said that it is rendering the corrupt ministers and bureaucrats sleepless. In this short period of time, Rs 5 lakh crore has been deposited in the RBI and the effort to withdraw the black money has increased.
The black money deposited in the banks will be used for the welfare of the poor. The Chief Minister also said the government is also working to make the government departments paperless by December 2017. It will help prevent corruption and bring transparency to the government’s working.