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After demonetisation, Mumbai civic body takes steps to go cashless

mumbai Updated: Nov 30, 2016 01:09 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Tanushree Venkatraman
Hindustan Times
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The Centre’s demonetisation move more than two weeks ago gave the cashless economy a sudden boost, with many moving their purchases online.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has also decided to take payments online. As a start, it has made it mandatory for contractors to pay their labourers through RTGS, or real time gross settlement, instead of cash. These payments account for Rs17 crore annually.

While BMC makes the payments online, contractors rely on cash payments, which the civic body wants to do away with, officials said.

Around 8,000 workers from 1,000 different organisations are employed by contractors for road cleaning; operating and loading garbage vehicles. Around 9,600 labourers from 750 organisations are involved with the Swachch Mumbai Prabhodhan Abhiyan (SWPA). The workers and SWPA labourers are paid wages of around Rs15,000 a month, and Rs6,000 honorarium respectively, officials said. In effect, the salaries currently being paid by cash have to be done through online transactions.

According to documents accessed by HT, 514 organisations have already complied with the requirement. “We are also looking at pushing for all payments online. We want to limit the usage of cheques and cash payments as a measure to minimise corruption,” said a senior civic official.

On November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Central government’s decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes to crack down on black money and take a major step for moving towards a cashless economy.

The BMC transacts with citizens for payment of property tax, water bills, octroi etc, which can also be done online. They also receive payment from developers as development cess, penalties and deposits among others, most of these transactions are by cheques, an official said. Officials said that they are mulling over online transactions in all scenarios.

Read more: The cost of cash: Going cashless could save Indian economy crores