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More than 300 trade leaders from 26 states attended a two-day 'Less Cash India Summit' in New Delhi, organised by the ?Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).
Addressing the summit, department of industrial policy and promotion secretary Ramesh Abhishek emphasised that merchants and traders are at the forefront of demonetisation effort and called for meaningful engagement and incentives to aid businesses in digital adoption. “The Government has been on the forefront of enabling a less cash economy. The move to incentivise cashless transactions and drive acceptance through installation of point of sale (POS) machines, low cost acceptance infrastructure, and rationalisation of merchant discount rate will enable the movement further,” he said.
“We are well aware that India is traditionally a cash-based economy, with the value of physical currency in circulation estimated to be over 11 per cent of GDP, highest in 16 years and within BRICS nations. China has seen a steady decrease in the ratio over the last 16 years (now at roughly 9 per cent), with Russia to be at 9 per cent and Brazil to be at 3 per cent,” said CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal.
Only 10 per cent of population in India is involved in cashless transactions, compared to Sweden (97 per cent), Belgium (93 per cent), France (92 per cent), Canada (90 per cent) and UK 89 (per cent), according to CAIT research.
India has one of the lowest card swiping machine numbers per capita, worldwide. Data indicates it has some 690-odd terminals per ten lakh people. Even among emerging economies this is very low, with China having some 4,000 terminals per ten lakh people and Brazil having almost 33,000 terminals per ten lakh population.
To promote the adoption of electronic payments by the trading community, CAIT will organise over 150 seminars, conferences, round-tables and workshops in over 30 cities across different states reaching out to over 20 lakh traders, the traders body said. (RKS)
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