India Govt wants urban local bodies to shift to e-payments

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The central government has asked all statutory 4,041 urban local bodies to shift to e-payments at the earliest, an official said on Sunday.

The Urban Development Ministry said these cities and towns account for about 75 per cent of the total 40 crore urban population in the country, according to a communique from the ministry .

The government’s message to the officials of these urban local bodies was conveyed by Rajiv Gauba, Secretary, Urban Development, via interactive video-conference.

Senior officials from the states also participated during the half-day interaction on various aspects of ensuring cashless transactions.

The Union Cabinet had on Thursday decided to promote cashless transactions through e-wallet and Unified Payment Interface (UPI) in all government bodies/ministries.

“The state- and city-level officials were asked to promote internet banking, online banking using credit and debit cards for cashless transactions besides using Public Finance Management Systems (PFMS) developed by the Finance Ministry for fund transfer, accounting and reconciliation up to the level of cities and towns,” the release said.

Gauba emphasised that all transactions relating to both income and expenditure of urban local bodies need to be shifted to e-payment mode.

These include payment of property tax, professional tax, all user charges like water and power bills, all kinds of fee and licence charges, online booking of community halls, issue and renewal of birth and death certificates, registration of shops and other establishments and enrolment of library membership.

“Expenditure to be made cashless include payment of salaries and wages to all regular and contractual employees, all contract- and work-related payments, procurements and beneficiary payments like social security,” said the release.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appealed the people, particularly the youths, to embrace e-banking and mobile banking for cashless transactions.

“Time has come for everyone, particularly my young friends, to embrace e-banking, mobile banking and more such technology,” Modi said in a tweet before his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio address to the nation.

The Prime Minister suggested that mobile should be used for the banking purposes.

“My mobile… My bank… My wallet,” Modi said.

The central government on November 8 demonetised old Rs 500 and 1,000 notes to crack down on black money holders. The move led to a cash chaos in the country.


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