Cashless Delhi Metro: Is Modi govt resorting to force?

Among the slew of measures the Narendra Modi-led government is taking to promote digital transactions, the decision to make 10 Delhi Metro stations operate cashlessly appears to be a forceful one.

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Among the slew of measures the Narendra Modi-led government is taking to promote digital transactions, the decision to make 10 Delhi Metro stations operate cashlessly appears to be a forceful one.

Beginning January 1, 2017, commuters travelling from these stations — Rohini East and Rohini West on Red Line; MG Road Station on Yellow Line; Mayur Vihar Phase-I, Nirman Vihar, Tilak Nagar, Janakpuri West, and Noida Sector-15 on Blue Line; and Nehru Place and Kailash Colony on Violet Line — will have to use smart cards or digital wallets — Paytm for now — to pay fares.

While reportedly 70 percent of ticket purchases at these stations are digital, the move is at least unfair on two counts — a) it takes away a customer’s right to choose; and b) a tie-up with Paytm creates a monopoly for the e-wallet operator. Legal tender can, however, be used at select ticket counters at these stations. So, citizens will likely have to prep for long queues for cash-based purchased.

The issue with digital modes of payment is the value. For example: A Rs 100 paid in cash translates into Rs 100 on the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) smart card. But, an e-wallet provider will take a commission for the service provided. Essentially, Rs 100 in Paytm wallet may not fetch you 10 tickets worth Rs 10 each. More info

By Chaitanya Gudipaty  www.moneycontrol.com

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