he Ratan P Watal Committee is set to submit its report encouraging the use of digital payments in India a few days earlier than previously thought, reports The Times of India.
It’s not yet clear as to what the recommendations will be, but it is reported that the committee is expected to set timelines to help reduce the number of cash transactions. By doing so, the committee are likely to highlight the use of digital payments.
The committee was only set up in August of this year; however, at the time the committee was under the impression that they would have a year to submit their report.
And yet, considering the recent announcement regarding the banning of the India’s largest fiat banknotes, the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, it’s not surprising that the committee has had to step up its efforts to produce a report sooner rather than later.
The committee is led by former finance secretary Watal and includes former RBI deputy governor H R Khan, chairman of the Indian Banks Association, the chairperson of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), and president of IT industry body Nasscom.
Promoting Digital Banking in India
According to The Times of India, cash accounts for 78 percent of transactions in the country; however, the committee is proposing to bring this down to around 50 percent by 2020.
And yet, only recently, Arun Jaitley, the Indian finance minister, was reported as saying that banks should start to promote digital banking to limit the use of physical currency. If cash transactions are only reduced by 50 percent by 2020, though, at least half of the country’s transactions that take place will be with cash after four years.
HRD Ministry to Launch Campaign
In an attempt to get India’s younger generation aware of digital currencies such as bitcoin, the Union HRD Ministry is set to launch a campaign on December 1, reports the Business Standard.
Prakash Javadekar, the HRD minister is reported as saying,“Last Sunday, the Prime Minister has asked youth to spread awareness about digital currency after which we have received requests from many young people who have expressed interest. On December 1, we will launch a campaign in this regard.”
By engaging the younger population in the country, and considering the recent demonetization, it is hoped that they will see that there are cash alternatives.
India is fast becoming a country that is eager to adopt bitcoin.
Earlier this week, Indian bitcoin buying reached $985 through Unocoin, a prominent Indian bitcoin exchange that recently launched its mobile application on both iOS and Android.
With the banning of the country’s biggest banknotes and a greater push for bitcoin adoption in the country, it can only be a matter of time before bitcoin becomes the choice for payments.