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Maharashtra to go completely cashless, you will now have to pay all bills, fines, taxes digitally

The state wants to follow the Centre’s footsteps and hence, has started all efforts to make its transactions cashless.

mumbai Updated: Sep 13, 2017 13:43 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,cashless economy,maharashtra government
Picture for representation(HT File)

In a bid to promote a cashless economy, the Maharashtra government is planning to shift entirely to a cashless transaction system. The state government will stop taking cash for all kind of fees, taxes and fines from the citizens soon. Instead, it will accept payments only through digital transactions. In rural areas, it plans to start with BHIM-Aadhaar Pay app and in cities, the existing credit card and other modes of cashless system will be continued.

The state wants to follow the Centre’s footsteps and hence, has started all efforts to make its transactions cashless. The BHIM-Aadhaar Pay app — a biometric-based payment system, allow users to make payments digitally by authenticating the biometric details of a user with Aadhaar database. The transactions include — property tax, stamp duty, fees for land transfer, license fees, fines, electricity bills etc. The idea is expected to be launched in the next two-three months.

Unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May this year, the BHIM-Aadhaar Pay app provides a tool that can be a one-stop solution for all digital payments.

VK Gautam, principal secretary, information technology department, said the BHIM-Aadhaar Pay app links citizens’ Aadhaar number and fingerprint to complete a transaction in a safe and secure manner. To enable the transactions through the app, the government only needs a thumb impression, for which 1.40 lakh biometric machines have been procured. These will be installed in all the gram panchayats, tehsildar and collectorates to ensure cashless transactions.

To complete the transactions, the person concerned will have to submit his Aadhaar details and the amount he or she wants to pay in the BHIM-Aadhaar Pay app and give his thumb impression to authenticate his biometric details. The amount will be deducted from his account, he added.

“We will stop taking cash for all kind of payments — fees, fine and taxes being imposed by the state government — once machines are installed at government offices across the state,” Gautam said.

However, sources said, there are many more challenges for the government for implementing the scheme. First of all, a person needs a bank account, and that too one lined with Aadhaar, which would be very limited, even in urban areas. Most of the banks are still in the process of updating their customers’ Aadhaar number in the bank account details.

The IT secretary also said that they are focusing more on rural areas, as digital transactions are not a new phenomenon for the urban population. In cities, people are already using cashless transactions, which will be continued in the existing forms of digital transactions. “The challenge for us would be to make it successful in rural parts,” Gautam told.

In rural areas, the cashless transactions will start with the BHIM-Aadhaar app only. The government may later add other mediums for online transactions — card payment and online banking — as per the requirement, said a senior officer from the IT department.

Further, to promote cashless transactions, the state has decided to motivate four entrepreneurs in each gram panchayat, who will be given the biometric machines on loan basis.

The entrepreneurs will be given a nominal monthly target for digital transaction. Monthly instalments will be waived off for entrepreneurs who achieve the given target. This will not only encourage entrepreneurs to go cashless, but will also create a digital environment in the rural areas, the principal secretary added.

First Published: Sep 13, 2017 13:42 IST