NEW DELHI: Going a step forward in realising the goal of making India a complete digital economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked all public sector undertakings (PSUs) to make cashless transactions mandatory in all its townships across India.
Top PSUs like BHEL, NTPC, NHPC, Coal India Ltd, ONGC, SAIL, GAIL, besides other oil and metal sector PSUs have big and small townships spread across the country which houses families of lakhs of employees working there. It is learnt that Mr. Modi is very keen on making such townships completely cashless where payments for all types of goods and services should be done through digital mode.
The idea of converting such townships and colonies completely cashless has gained ground following success of similar experiment by Essar Steel where it converted its Nand Niketan township at Hazira in Gujarat’s Surat district cashless.
Nand Niketan is the first private township to go cashless with the help of The Mobile Wallet (TMW), a Mumbai-based financial technology company. The pilot project involved adoption of TMW’s twin offering — the smartphone-based TMW App and the Mastercard-enabled TMW and RBL Bank co-branded pre-paid card, which has almost universal acceptance at all outlets and billers that accept Mastercard in India.
While the TMW App has had more than 15,000 downloads, over 10,000 TMW-RBL Bank pre-paid cards have been issued to a wide range of users in Surat, including Essar employees and their families residing in the Hazira township, merchants and shopowners operating within its precincts, as well as contract labourers working at various Essar facilities. All of the 40-odd merchants at Nand Niketan accept payments made through the TMW App and pre-paid card where digital transactions worth around Rs.3 lakh are done everyday.
It is this model that the Prime Minister wants to be replicated across India beginning with smaller townships. Government sources said Mr. Modi wants that no cash transactions should be done while making payments in places like government offices or schools etc or in doing daily shopping in townships run by PSUs. If this experiment succeeds the model would be replicated in towns and cities across India. Apart from cutting costs and dealing with handling of cash, this initiative will also tackle the problem of blackmoney and circulation of unaccounted money.