India already on road to cashless economy, says Gadkari

New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said that the nation has already embarked on the journey towards cashless economy.

Speaking at ‘Agenda Aajtak’ event, the minister said if 70 per cent of the transactions are done in the digital mode, it would be a positive indicator to a decisive shift towards a cashless economy.

Talking about the problems people are facing since demonetisation, Gadkari said things would be stabilised soon.

“We accept people are facing problems. However, things will become normal in a month’s time. The system is being changed. We have a parallel economy that is based on cash transactions. So, if we are going towards cashless economy, there will be initial troubles.

“In Spain, cashless economy accounts for 98 per cent. If we manage to reach 60-70 per cent, it will be good,” Gadkari said.

He cited speedy transition of toll payment mode from cash-based to cashless.

“After December 2, motorists are paying toll smoothly. We have introduced FASTag, which has facilitated smooth toll payment. We are also in talks with the states to adopt the new system,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Transport Minister said that the secrecy maintained before the demonetisation announcement was necessary.

“If we had not maintained secrecy, we would have been criticised for alerting the black money holders in advance. The secrecy was also necessary in the national interest. Even, I got to know about it in the Cabinet meeting that day,” Gadkari said.

The minister refuted allegations that the BJP leaders were in know of demonetisation move well in advance.

Gadkari further said that the BJP did not think of political repercussions before taking the demonetisation decision.

“We never thought of demonetisation impacting our electoral prospects. The decision was taken in the national interest.

“However, it’s good to see that the BJP faired well in the recent local body polls in Maharshatra. This shows that people have supported demonetisation decision,” Gadkari said.

–IANS

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