March 01, 2017
We need to generate ideas that will result in more and more people using electronic payment more and more frequently. I think that we need to come up with creative ideas that can be adoptd and for that to happen, ideally they should meet 3 criteria.
1. The adopters of the ecash system should be at the lower end of the pyramid.
2. When they are encouraged to adopt thru regulation and incentives, the adoption should be visible and noticeable by the public.
3. The adoption of ecash should result in reduction in some inhuman practices that are currently in vogue, and about which we do little or nothing.
So as to get us started, here is my contribution.
1. Legalize begging and provide beggars a license for begging providing they receive money in electronic cash. And does it meet the above criteria? It is aimed at the lower end of society. Such adoption will be noticeable, since they are visibile at traffic signals and temples, This will bring down the kidnapping of children that happens in large quantities every year.The mafia that controls the beggars, maims them and controls them thru violence will either have to come into the tax net, or give up control. I am interested to hear readers give me a feedback as to how the mafia could react to a government initiative of this kind. Of course, all beggars will be provided a mobile phone and a BHIM account. Payment to such beggars can also be made legitimately tax deductible.
2. Legalize prostitution and make it mandatory for the payment to be only electronic. The news will get around quickly, and users of the service will understand that they are indulging in a safe activity. Government can go on a drive to educate these women as to how they can in turn educate their customers on making digital payment. IT effectively becomes a disincentive for human trafficking. IT removes the pimps and the police/middlemen who add no value other than violence. The organizers of the business are either forced to come out into the open, or resign.
I invite readers to offer similar ideas that can eventually be packaged and suggested to the Government. Such ideas need not necessarily follow the direction set above. So long as they bring about early adoption of digital cash.