Better regulation for a less-cash economy4 min read 14 Nov 2016, 05:45 PM IST
A light touch from the RBI and finance ministry and a speedy regulatory process could change the way Indians transact
The express purpose of the surgical strike on high denomination notes is to check black money and counterfeit currency. Yet, the move can have additional big benefits—of moving Indians towards digital payments. While Paytm, Ola Money and others are pushing their wallets now with vigorous advertising, there is no obvious and smooth transition to this less-cash economy. There will be conversions to wallets, but there will be strident protests from those who want to keep their finances anonymous. There will also be many reports of genuine inconvenience and pain; the next few weeks could be chaotic in many parts of the country. Looking ahead, if India does not want to tread this path again, the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have to show much more vigour in pushing for a digital world. The bottom line is that, so far, when it comes to encouraging digital transactions, the entire regulatory and government machinery has been functioning in slow motion. This has to change.