India should not lag behind in digital currency era: PM

India should not lag behind in digital currency era: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asserted that India could not lag behind in the “digital currency era”, as he took a dig at “stalwarts” who had mocked his government’s push for digital transactions.

“Now an era of digital currency has started, and India should not lag behind,” Modi said at a programme at Ujire, around 50 km from Mangaluru in the coastal district of Dakshina Kannada.

He said digitisation was aimed at bringing in accountability and added that more cash would bring with it social evils. The prime minister also hit out at people who saw themselves as “Tees Maar Khan” - a colloquial phrase used for those who pretend to be smart or heroic - and had been sceptical of digital transactions.

“Last November, December and January, stalwarts made speeches in Parliament. If you haven’t heard them, hear them. These stalwarts who see themselves as “Tees Maar Khan”, those who think themselves as the epitome of knowledge, used to say that in India there is poverty, lack of education, how can digital transaction work,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister was taking part in a programme of the Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project, where he symbolically presented a beneficiary with a RuPay card, an Indian version of a credit or debit card. As many as 12 lakh Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana account holders would benefit from the Rupay card under the project, run by the organisation managed by Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Veerendra Heggade.

“Our mothers and sisters who live in villages, whether they are educated or not, have taken a pledge. Twelve lakh people have taken a pledge that they will transact their self-help group related business cashless; they will go with the digital transaction, with RuPay card,” Modi said. Complimenting Heggade for his efforts, Modi said he worked towards ensuring digital India.
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