New Delhi– Exhorting its members to shift to digital format for business, industry chamber Assocham on Friday said the demonetisation drive would not only check the menace of black money and corruption but would also bring a large part of the informal economy into the organised sector.

“The digital transactions through banking, para-banking and non-banking channels leave a trail that would be the biggest hurdle for those unscrupulous sections in public life and bureaucracy which resort to rent-seeking that ultimately falls on common citizens,” Assocham President Sunil Kanoria said in a statement here.

Sunil Kanoria
Sunil Kanoria

“A slew of incentives announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on digital payments at essential services and public utilities, coupled with a simultaneous policy level push being devised by a high level committee of Chief Ministers, top policy makers and bankers would take India straight into the next level of digital economy.

“Such a leap-frogging would be unprecedented anywhere in the world and would place the Indian economy at par with some of the developed nations in terms of smooth commercial transactions,” he said.

“We would reach out to our members, particularly in the MSME segments to shift towards digital formats of businesses,” he added.

Kanoria urged the public sector banks to upgrade and launch more and more user-friendly applications which can be cost effective.

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra had however said on Thursday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making India a cashless economy is “impractical” because the mass of population was unequipped and mostly not digital savvy.

“How can an unprepared population move towards a digital economy. Only 17 per cent population in India have intelligent phones,” Mitra told a TV news channel citing surveys.

“There are 21,000 unorganised mandis in the country where cash is the mode of transaction. There are 383 lakh unorganised units in the country…does the Prime Minister live in the real world?” he asked.