It refers to a welcome step of central government to bear ‘Merchant-Trade-Discount’ (MTD) on purchases of up to Rs 2000 made through credit-debit cards to boost use of card-payment. To compensate for the big revenue-spent, central government can now withdraw discounts started after demonetisation on purchases made through credit-debit cards like 0.75 per cent discount on purchase of petrol or diesel through credit-debit cards. Central government should ensure issue of debit cards by all banks compulsorily without any processing or annual charge. Also hidden charges and exorbitant penalties and interest-rates on use of credit cards should be regulated by Department of Financial Services (Banking) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) by inducing common such charges for all banks.

To encourage cashless payments for higher amounts, monthly limit on cash-withdrawals by individuals from all his accounts in banks and post-offices should be restricted to Rs 96,000 as was done after demonetisation. All sale-purchases exceeding say Rs 10,000, even though payment may be made in parts, must be through banks. In case of cash-payments, currency-tax of 30 per cent may be imposed. All expenses exceeding Rs 1000 must be allowed when made through banks. Drafts, Pay-Orders, Traveller-cheques etc. must carry names, addresses and account-numbers of purchasers with reduced validity-period of say 45 days to check their misuse as ‘benami’ drafts for carriers of black money. Currency-circulation should be transformed in banking transactions so that surplus currency may be ordinary ‘paper’ for all practical purposes.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)