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Demonetisation Move hits Tirumala Temple Pilgrims hard as Hotel Owners, Taxi drivers and Shops refuse to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 Currency Notes

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams arranged for free food, snacks and milk for all pilgrims

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Lord Venkateswara, Tirumala
Lord Venkateswara, Tirumala. Flickr

Tirupati, November 9, 2016: Devotees visiting Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirumala were hit hard on Wednesday as taxi drivers and owners of hotels and shops refused to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination currency notes after the government’s sudden move to demonetise them.

The pilgrims, who flock from all over the country to the temple town, had a tough time buying food and other essential items of daily use. Some were facing difficulties even in buying milk for their children.

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“After reaching at the railway station on Wednesday morning, we learnt that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes are no longer valid. Since we were travelling, we are carrying only high denomination currency notes,” said G. Rammohan, a devotee from Visakhapatnam.

With banks and ATMs closed for the day, the pilgriums and visitors had no option but to borrow or buy on credit, or to rough it out.

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which runs the affairs of the hill shrine — the richest in the country — intervened to provide some succour to the pilgrims. It arranged for free food, snacks and milk for all pilgrims.

“We are also accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for darshan tickets,” a TTD official told IANS.

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Arrangements were also made to enable devotees swipe their credit and debit cards for accommodation and other services provided by the TTD.

[bctt tweet=”About 50,000 pilgrims every day have ‘darshan’ of the idol at the Tirumala temple in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. ” username=””]

The pilgrims at Sri Bhramrambha Mallikharjuna temple at Srisailam and other prominent shrines in Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring Telangana also had a tough time due to the Centre’s move to do away with high denomination currency notes.

The devotees complained that the sudden move caused them severe inconvenience as they were stranded at bus and railway stations. Many went without food for hours.

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As it is ‘Karthika masam’, an auspicious period, thousands of devotees throng the temples, especially at Srisailam.

Meanwhile, Vishwa Hindu Parishad has demanded that both the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments set up special counters at temples administered by them to help devotees to exchange Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. (IANS)

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Demonetisation, Aadhaar Spurred Digital Payments Growth: RBI

Pointing to a major area for improvement, the study showed that only three per cent of the population in India used the Internet to pay utility bills in 2017

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long term impact on Real Estate
Demonetisation aided with RERA and GST will put long term impact on Real Estate. Pixabay.

After the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in 2016 pushed digital payments, Aadhaar-enabled electronic know your customer (eKYC) resulted in an exponential growth of such payments in the country, according to a new report by the Reserve Bank of India.

Transactions in which both the payer and the payee use digital modes to send and receive money are referred to as digital or electronic payments.

India recorded an accelerated growth rate of over 50 per cent in the volume of retail electronic payment transactions in the last four years, said the report titled “Benchmarking India’s Payment Systems”.

The growth in 2018-19 was largely due to the steep growth in Unified Payments Interface (UPI), it added.

“In India, the smartphone revolution has seen an explosion in digital payment options, from e-Money to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to a combination of the two. After demonetisation, the use of e-Money picked up on a very large scale,” the findings showed.

The digital landscape changed with higher usage of e-Money, UPI, Aadhaar Payments Bridge System (APBS), RuPay, and Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), among others.

With 3,459 million e-Money transactions, India was only behind Japan and the US (data on China not available) in 2017 with respect to volume of e-Money transactions, the report said.

The study revealed that over the years, the number of debit and credit cards also increased considerably in India.

Aadhaar Card Reader Logo. Source: Wikimedia

India had 331.60 million and 19.55 million debit and credit cards respectively at the end of 2012. The numbers grew to 861.7 million and 37.49 million respectively at the end of 2017.

By March 31, 2019, the number of debit and credit cards issued were 925 million and 47 million, respectively.

However, the study showed that the cost of digital transactions was a factor inhibiting their growth.

Merchants have to cash out or transfer to their banks accounts at a cost and at times these costs are passed on to the consumer.

“A few countries have tried to regulate costs to ensure that the charges are not usurious, but the jury is still out on whether such a regulation promotes the growth of digital payments. With banks pushing and merchants pulling, it isn’t clear if such caps will discourage the use of cash,” the report added.

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Pointing to a major area for improvement, the study showed that only three per cent of the population in India used the Internet to pay utility bills in 2017.

The report compared the payment ecosystem in India with the systems and usage trends in other major countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Britain and the US. (IANS)