Reduce the use of currency, go digital: Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley said out of 80 crore debit cards, 40 crore were actively used at ATMs


Government wants physical currency to be substituted by digital currency. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Government wants physical currency to be substituted by digital currency. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

New Delhi: Amid a raging debate on demonetisation, the government on Friday said in Lok Sabha that it wanted a reduction in the use of physical currency in the economy, which should be substituted with digital money.

Responding to a question on digital payment systems, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the government wanted the physical currency to come down and be substituted by digital currency. While physical currency should decline, business and commerce should prosper.

He said out of 80 crore debit cards, 40 crore were actively used at ATMs. Electronic wallets and digital transfer of funds was the future technology which the government is encouraging and has asked various state governments to contribute.

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Jaitley also said a dedicated fund under depositor education and awareness fund was in place for expanding acceptance, infrastructure and conducting awareness campaign among people for a cash-less society. Cashless society would mean less investment in handling cash, transparency in payments and check on fake currency, he said.

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