Elucidating that the control over use of hard cash in Goa as appealed by him to the people, is actually “less-cash environment” and not “cashless society,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that efforts are already on to increase the 15 per cent to 20 per cent population in the state using alternative forms of payment – cards, Paytm, e-wallets and other mobile applications – to 50 per cent, as early as possible.
“Of course, there are difficulties in this exercise, which would be surmounted,” he added, pointing out that Goa could be at the most 50 per cent cashless.
It may be recalled that Parrikar, last month had addressed a meeting of the state bureaucrats directing them to ensure that cashless regime is ushered in Goa by December 30, 2016. The government was subsequently forced to do rethinking after local traders protested against the circular issued by the department of commercial taxes, as regards the registered businesses going cashless within ten days.
Interacting with the pressmen, the Defence Minister maintained that so far the government has sensitised approximately 26,000 people in various forums, while around 700 Point of Sale (PoS) machines have been established across the state. “Furthermore, 2,700 vendors have gone for Unified Payments Interface (UPI) enabled mobile application,” Parrikar added, pointing out that till now 6 to 7 banks in Goa are acting on less-cash transactions, and it is intended to increase their number. He also stated that at least 300 to 400 camps have been organised to spread related awareness.