CM Sri N Chandrababu Naidu shared his thoughts at length on transitioning AP into a cashless economy. Mr Naidu posted his views on the social networking page, explaining to the people about the importance of going digital. His note reveals the bigger picture behind demonetization and why time is right to transition into a cashless economy.
“The demonetisation drive by the Centre is gradually but silently driving the cashless economy in our country. As the Chief Minister of a state, I’m witnessing the problems that people are facing, following the withdrawal of high-value currency.
Given that our country’s ratio of cash to gross domestic product is one of the highest in the world —12.42% in 2014, compared with 9.47% in China or 4% in Brazil, we will face these issues for a while. However, we need to look at solutions instead of harping on the problems.
In this direction, I have had meetings with my officials to understand the readiness of Andhra Pradesh into transitioning into a cashless economy. We are studying the challenges and trying to address them.
For instance, I’m witnessing this readiness in a few gram panchayats in the state. Nallajerla Panchayat in West Godavari district has been creating massive awareness drives on switching to digital transactions.
While pushing for digital transactions, I’m also aware that we need a huge infrastructure in place before we ask people to embrace digital modes of transactions. For this, students can be prepped up to train older people on using technology.
There are challenges in implementing this despite the recent expansion in digital wallet usage as well as the introduction of specialized payments banks.
A robust payments mechanism to settle digital transactions is also needed. NEFT and RTGS have been a good start, however. I also see a bright future for FinTech start-ups in this space as this move opens a gamut of opportunities for entrepreneurs.
At this juncture, I’m glad to have received the invitation by the Centre to head the Committee of Chief Ministers (comprising of 5 CMs) to look into the issues arising out of demonetisation.
This crisis has hit us hard. However, any crisis gives us opportunities to do better and emerge stronger. We will ensure that we carefully take into account the issues of the unbanked population who need to be trained and try to come up with solutions for a better and brighter India.”
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N Chandrababu Naidu