Shortage of Point of Sale (POS) machines and thermal paper rolls used in them are affecting the Jharkhand government’s ambitious go cashless drive in Dhanbad district.
Companies providing POS machines and paper rolls in the district are unable to meet the sudden spurt in demand since recall of old 500 and 1,000 banknotes in November.
Chief minister Raghubar Das on November 29 announced a “Cashless Jharkhand” campaign. Experts say demonetisation gives a significant push towards a cashless economy.
Traders and retailers in Dhanbad said they were running pillar to post to get POS machines and paper rolls.
“Service provider company didn’t provide thermal paper roll citing shortage,” said Pramod Goyal, the general secretary of Dhanbad district distributer association.
Goyal, who also who runs a cosmetic shop at Bank More area, said banks and their associate company’s venders were passing the buck.
“I had purchased a POS machine from State Bank of India. When I contacted my vender for paper roll, he told me that there was an acute shortage,” said Goyal, who later lodged a complaint with the bank.
Vinod Kumar, a shopkeeper, said he applied for a POS machine a month ago but yet to get it. “We are helpless as neither the bank nor service providing agencies are giving us concrete reason for the delay,” said Kumar.
The Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FCCI), meanwhile, expressed concern over the crisis. “Only slogans and advertisement for cashless transactions won’t help, implementing agencies should be more serious,” said Surendra Arora, the president of FCCI Dhanbad chapter.
Audhesh Verma, the assistant general manager of State Bank of India’s main branch here, admitted the crisis, but added that installation and services of POS machines were assigned to outsourcing agencies.
“The bank has hired agencies to provide service to our customers. After getting complaints, we write to the agencies and issue guidelines accordingly,” Verma said, adding that the crisis would be over within a fortnight.
Two companies - Hitachi and Worldline - provide services for installation and maintenance of POS machines in the state.
Hitachi’s Umesh Verma said a sudden rise in demand was to be blamed for the crisis.
“Manufacturing companies are unable to supply POS machines and paper roll as demand shot up suddenly after demonetisation,” he said, adding that Hitachi was yet to supply 25,000 POS machines in Jharkhand.