In a bid to promote cashless transactions in the state, the Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) launched a cashless ticketing system, in collaboration with HDFC Bank Limited, here on Wednesday. The bank will charge 0.60% service charge per transaction.
“In the initial phase, the system will be implemented for luxury, super luxury, air conditioned (AC) and deluxe buses, and people will be motivated to pay the bus fare through the cashless system,” said transport minister G S Bali during the launch event at Dharamshala. The system will be expanded to all the buses in later stages.
“The system is aimed at strengthening the cashless economy, as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and to facilitate the public at large,” the transport minister said, adding that the point-of-sale (PoS) machines will be provided to the HRTC staff by the HDFC Bank. The bank will also provide training to HRTC staff to operate the machines.
The minister has also urged the bank to reduce the service charge, if possible.
HRTC has a fleet of around 3,500 buses of which 200 are super luxury buses. The system has been started in these buses.Besides, the facility is also available at 58 ticket booking counters across the state.
“Since many people in rural areas don’t carry debit or credit cards, cash payments will also continue,” said Bali.
“We can’t force anyone to use the cashless system. Also, it is not possible achieve complete cashless system in a vast country such as India, hence the old system will continue,” he added.
The minister said that emphasis is being given to cashless transactions in the two departments that he holds—food and civil supplies and transport.
“We have already started the process of digitalisation in food and civil supply department and point-of-sale (PoS) machines have been installed at 119 of the total 291 units of the department.
All the fair price shops will also be provided PoS machines very soon, he said. Besides, the distribution of ration under Public Distribution System (PDS) through digital ration cards will start from April 1.