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People solidly back demonetisation, will hold Congress accountable on GST: BJP

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BJP supporters during a rally.
BJP supporters during a rally. IANS

New Delhi, October 30: The BJP on Monday hit back at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for attacking demonetisation and GST, saying people were “solidly standing” with the Narendra Modi government on the decision to junk high currency notes and GST is the best thing to have happened in tax administration in seven decades.

BJP spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao also took a personal dig at the Congress Vice President over his remarks on GST, saying that when it “becomes a joke when he tries to become an intellectual”.

He said the people had given the Congress “a resounding slap” when they tried to make demonetisation a poll plank in the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly polls and if they seek to do it again, then people will give them a “befitting reply”.

Accusing the Congress of not acting against black money during all its time in power, he said it was instead opposing Modi’s steps against black money and tax evasion.

Terming the government’s steps in the “national interest”, he said people were “solidly standing” with Modi’s “cleaning up exercise” and accused the Congress of opposing any attack on assets abroad or money laundering since their leaders were involved in it.

He also mocked the Congress and other opposition parties’ decision to mark November 8, the demonetisation decision was announced by the government last year, as a “Black Day”.

“The more Congress tries to really cry about demonetisation, it will expose itself to the people and we are happy with this brazen, shameless public support for black money by the Congress,” he said.

On GST, Rao said Congress supported it in parliament and also claimed it was an initiative worked upon during the UPA government, while their state governments supported every decision regarding GST be it in terms of rates and commodities covered.

“It is the height of hypocrisy for the Congress to claim that Congress party is not a party to GST. It only shows their lack of willingness to accept reality. The Congress cannot run away from it. We will hold them accountable,” he said, adding that the BJP believes that GST is the “best thing that has happened to this country in seven decades”.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Monday described demonetisation as an “out and out disaster” and said that GST was a “torpedo” which destroyed the economy.(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)