KCR maps out digital Telangana

  • ‘Digital transfer of money has become inevitable’

Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday felt that people should be educated on electronic financial literacy as technology is playing a major role in day-to-day life. The time has come for the people to have awareness on the electronic transactions and there is a need to change the present thinking of people, he said. Digital transfer of money, post-demonetization, became a necessity for financial transactions, KCR said.

He expressed these views at a meeting he had at Pragathi Bhavan with senior officials from the ICIC Bank, who came forward to offer the bank’s services to the people on the digital platform. The bank officials explained to the CM about the ongoing digital transactions trend in the country and expressed their desire to extend their bank services to the people in Telangana State.

The Chief Minister said the people are always ready to accept any change provided if they are explained the benefits of the change. “The people should be explained on the benefits of the new method,” he said and added that the immediate necessity was conducting financial transactions through digital platforms. In this context, the CM said very soon the state would implement digital transactions at all levels and would become the first state to have done cashless transactions. He is happy to note that the Telangana State for the past five days has been registering the highest number of financial transactions digitally on a daily basis and stood first in the country.

“It is not that people have no knowledge about the digital transactions. Since they are used to the cash transactions, they are yet to get familiarized with using ATMs and swipe machines. In the rural areas, do people have the habit of paying through cheque while purchasing daily commodities like milk, vegetables, and mutton etc.,” the CM asked. He said it would not be possible for the people to get into banking transactions overnight. It would take some more time for them to get a feel of it. It is good that the banks have come forward to offer their services, he said.

The Chief Minister asked IT Minister K T Rama Rao to ensure that people are educated and are aware of digital transactions through advertisement jingles. “Tell people that it is not safe to have hard currency in their pockets and in their houses. The people should understand that their money is safe through the digital transactions. To achieve this objective, what the government should do, what role the government officials to play and what kind of coordination is needed between the government and the bankers should be discussed with officials at meetings between the organisations concerned, the CM observed.

He also underlined the need to make the state administration a partner in the entire process and all the employees working in the rural areas from the level of village secretaries to undergo training in this regard. The ICICI bank representatives gave several suggestions to the Chief Minister.

Responding to their suggestions, the CM said this process should not be done in a hurry. “In the first phase, all the financial transactions done by the government should be digitalized. The money received by the government through registrations department, civil supplies department and other sectors and the payments being made to contractors, and salaries to the employees and other expenditure should be made through e-transfer. All the financial transactions should be done through Uniform Payment Interface system. Similarly, if farmers deposit their money after selling their produce in banks, they would slowly learn the digital transactions.

The Chief Minister pointed out that even in a technologically advanced country like the US, there is still some percentage of cash transactions take place. In our country where cash transactions are part of our life and culture, there would be a small percentage of people who would still continue cash transactions. “It is very much in our psyche to actually touch and feel the currency,” the CM explained.

KCR reiterated that once a cashless society is established, there will not be any other taxes except the GST and Banking Transaction Tax. He wanted the bank management and employees to help the people to understand the new methods and extend their services. He wanted IT Minister KTR to have regular meetings with the bankers. He also agreed to formally launch State Government’s TS e-Wallet during the Collectors’ conference to be held in Hyderabad on December 14.

Senior officials from ICICI Bank, and heads of key government departments were present at the meeting. –NSS

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