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Small enterprises leading India’s less-cash revolution

At the ‘National Convention on Less Cash India’, a summit organized by Confederation of All India Traders ( CAIT) at Constitution Club, New Delhi between December 2-3, 2016,  ​ unanimously resolved to intensify adoption of digital payments in their existing business format. It is a step forward in the direction of GST taxation system. A digital payment system/  electronic payment is one of the core fundamental of GST regime-said CAIT.

More than 300 trade leaders from 26 States of the Country attended the two days Summit. The CAIT has also released a White Paper on adoption of Digital Payments.While addressing the Summit, Mr. Ramesh Abhishek​, ​Secretary, DIPP  emphasized that merchants and traders are at the forefront of demonetization effort and called for meaningful engagement and incentives to aid businesses in digital adoption, “The Government has been on the forefront of enabling a less cash economy. The move to incentivize cashless transactions and drive acceptance through installation of point of sale (POS) machines, low cost acceptance infrastructure, and rationalization of merchant discount rate will enable the movement further.”

Speaking at the Summit,CAIT Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal said, “We are well aware that India is traditionally a cash-based economy, with the value of physical currency in circulation estimated to be over 11 per cent of GDP, highest in 16 years and within BRICS nations. China has seen a steady decrease in the ratio over the last 16 years (now at roughly 9 per cent), with Russia to be at 9 per cent and Brazil to be at 3 per cent. Before we embarked on this campaign with our partner global technology solutions leader Mastercard, we did some research and found that India stood at just 10 per cent of population doing cashless transactions with specific reference to Sweden (97 per cent), Belgium (93 per cent), France (92 per cent), Canada (90 per cent), UK 89 (per cent).”

CAIT National President Mr. B.C.Bhartia said that ​ India has one of the lowest card swiping machine numbers per capita, worldwide. Data indicates it has some 690-odd terminals per ten lakh people. Even among emerging economies this is very low, with China having some 4,000 terminals per ten lakh people and Brazil having almost 33,000 terminals per ten lakh population. Most of these 690-odd terminals, over 70 per cent, are located across 14-15 cities in the country. Hence, over 75 per cent of cashless transactions are reported from these 15-odd cities. All this helped CAIT realise that similar to how digital payments evolved in other parts of the world, it was surely bound to create the same effect if promoted in a holistic way-​said Mr. Bhartia.​

Now with over 150 seminars, conferences, round-tables and workshops in over 30 cities across different states reaching out to over 20 lakh traders to promote the adoption of electronic payments by the trading community, CAIT ​is​ committed to work with each and every constituent of its fraternity in navigating through the transition to “Less Cash India.​The​ CAIT​ has already​ launched ​a ​Less Cash Roadmap making it the second most credible document after RBI’s Vision 2018 document for promoting digital payments in India. Over the course of 2 years now and more recently, CAIT has seen success of its recommendations made to various stakeholders within the government which are largely a part of our Less Cash Manifesto launched last week.​ ​​

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